Continuing my exploration of using color to portray the passage of time, this ongoing series captures the plumage colors of migratory birds in Central Park, NYC, throughout a year. Each specific bird spends a predictable amount of time in the park, twice a year, on its journey in search of the primary resources, food and nesting locations.
To create this series, I receive daily eBird alerts from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, providing confirmed bird sightings in Central Park. Using this information as a foundation, I use online resources to learn about the specific species, including its migratory patterns, behaviors, calls, and songs. This immersive process can take days to weeks until I develop a comprehensive understanding of the unique qualities of that bird. While I strive to study both male and female birds, information regarding female birds is often less readily available.
During this time of getting to know the bird, I decide on three distinct plumage colors to represent it. These colors are then mixed using digital tools to create accurate color representations avoiding any personal color preferences. Drawing inspiration from my experiences as a novice birdwatcher and aiming to evoke a similar experience for the viewer, I apply colors to the acrylic panels to manipulate visibility as the viewer moves, challenging spatial expectations. For example: a color you see from a side angle may not be visible from a frontal view. The unpainted areas on the panels suggest the open air where these birds thrive.
These paintings are the result of extensive research, yet the viewer’s experience takes precedence. This series mirrors my profound respect for the natural world, its cycles, and its inhabitants. With a keen awareness of the fragile state of our environment, each painting serves as a tribute to a species. These artworks are devotional objects, reminding us of the delicate balance that sustains life.