Full bodied Blue Jays, or just their heads. Drawings of birds in silhouette form, in ballpoint pen, or with layer upon layer of mixed media, are what follows. A lot of artists are work with old books, for instance by hollowing them out to make 3D creations. The following American artist shows us that birds laid out on graphs appeal to our senses.
Artist Paula Swisher began doodling the above flights of fancy with only a ballpoint pen and white out! She’s since added gouache, colored pencils, cut-out paper and even thread to her list. The surfaces on which she illustrates is what’s unique about these birds, that look as though they could be pulled from a field sketch diary from the age of Charles Darwin.
Graphs, scientific calculations, diagrams and blocks of text in miniscule font sizes are the surfaces on which Swisher presents and juxtaposes her brightly colored birds. And as the artist states, “…superimposing bird imagery, hopefully, creates a visual metaphor for our attempts to make sense of our experiences.”
Shapes, lines, colors, or key words are what the correlations between the featured bird and the background text or chart. It’s up to us to generate a meaning from viewing these images, whether they correlate with our notion of art, or are birds that have flown the coop at bit too early, that haven’t had a chance to impress upon us their character.
This article on Colossal was the inspiration for our piece.