Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather, oil on canvas, 42″ x 26″, 2024.

Birds of a Feather is a medium size painting, oil on canvas, 42″ x 26″, painted in 2024. As its title suggests, it depicts several “flocks”. There is a flock of black birds casting their shadows on the red roof, a group of children kicking a ball in the middle ground, a group of sailboats racing, in the distance. There is also a village of houses, trees, and shrubs (a kind of flock) scattered throughout the scene. Plus, there is a group of adults doing adult things like riding a bike, running, talking, looking out a window.

The painting is surrealist in style in that it combines the appearance of things with my intuitive recreation of them. Many of the elements, like the houses, are more symbolic than “real”. The colors are primary – red, blue, green, and yellow. The red rectangle of the foreground house dominates the scene. Its smooth shingles dotted with the shadows of a flock of birds flying overhead. Smoke comes out of the chimneys, echoing the angled lines of the roofs. There is a woman runner in the lower left, and a man looking out a window. Is he looking at her? Has he been waiting for her to pass? Over on the right is a couple in a window. They seem to suggest the outcome if the couple on the left were to meet. There is a sense of the passage of time. It is daylight in the foreground, with its crisp shadows, and twilight in the background – the car in the distance has his lights on as the moon floats above the horizon.