I first started looking at Bird Nests and became fascinated with the abstract shapes found in the structure and form of each nest and further saw there was a simpatico between the build of my paint and the physical structure of the bird nests. I have been using the found nests to imagine what it felt like to build them through my brushstrokes and use the structures as source material to direct and inspire my painting.
I began to look at the history of Avian art and was drawn to Ornithological artists such as Audubon and stumbled across the book "Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio" by Genevieve Jones and her family. The story behind the printing of the book reads like a great novel involving the entire family. The son would gather the nests, the daughter would illustrate them until she died of Typhoid fever (half way through the book) and the mother continued the illustrations after her daughter's death with the father publishing the finished work. In the biography it mentions the daughter Genevieve, "a woman of a nervous disposition", was also a ceramic artist. I began drawing parallels between human crafts and the architecture of bird nests and this lead me to investigate ceramic painting and Transferware from the same period. .
We are and have always been fascinated with the natural world whether for greater knowledge or as an object of beauty to admire, possess or study and alter. I have been working these stories from the past and present ornithological pursuits and tales of accidental species extinction into the plate patterns in which the nests sit.