The first watercolor paper box of the series was an illustrated journal of the birds I saw on a bird-watching venture to the Ozarks. I became interested in the spectrograms, which are visual recordings of bird songs and invented my own marks as motifs, furthering the idea on the “Humpback Whale” box. It was years later, when snorkeling in Maui, that I finally heard the whales sing. The series continued with themes of birds, butterflies, trees, and rabbits. “Hare in the Moon” portrays the rabbit as viewed by numerous cultures. “Duetting” portrays the African black-collared barbets who mate for life and sing an antiphonal duet: one bird sings a note and the other answers with another note in syncopation and so on. When one dies, the other sings both parts of the duet. Heartbreaking, no? “Sumer is Icumen In” is from “The Cukoo,” a traditional English folk song. “Streams and Mountains” is inspired by Hsu Pe, a Chinese poet. “Man’s life does not allow unbroken ease, but to be able to be high up in the mountain this is leisure.”
Flat sheets of Archés paper are painted with watercolor on both sides then folded into a cube with a lid. The paintings inside the folded flaps are “secrets” hidden from view. The flaps keep the boxes closed with no need for adhesive.
Closed boxes range in size from 5 in. to 7 in. cube. Open sizes range from 29 in. x 30 in. to 34 in. x 36 in.