The paintings shown here are part of my new line of original paintings on glass & lucite called House Sparrow. I have painted themes dealing primarily with water for some years now, but have also maintained studio time rendering creatures of earth & air on glass and selling these pieces to sustain my full-time studio practice. For years, I perceived these paintings as a side thing. But I realize, this is also what I would like to be doing more seriously and shape into a creative practice that has more far-reaching effects than just paying bills. With this more intentional studio venture, House Sparrow Designs allows me to study the creatures of the world and enjoy recreating our planets’ animals and their beautiful forms freely.
For years, anywhere I’ve been, carrying whatever sadness or burdensome feeling can sometimes accompany, the common house sparrow always makes me smile. No really, always. They’re those little brown birds you see everywhere eating crumbs and joining into fat, fluffy forces of chirping around hedges and buildings, parks, and homes. These little guys resonate with me. They survive and thrive in community with one another, and their little dirt baths are just so precious.
I was very happy to find that when I wanted to name my new art venture “House Sparrow” they’re symbolism fit perfectly with many of the ideas I hold close. Symbolically, the house sparrow is said to represent creativity, simplicity, joy, protection, friendliness, community, & productivity. The sparrow teaches us to use our creativity to get around in life – think outside the box, and be creative in solving our problems. I give credit to creative projects instilling the hope & joy I carry around with me these days. I don’t own a house, or even live in a nice apartment. I can’t buy fancy things. Years ago, I moved far away from my family to learn more about the world. I lived in tents and a sailboat, made my studio in journals to carry around. Today, here in Northampton, I have become rich with brilliant, sincere friends & community, and I have learned how to appreciate the gifts my blood family have given me again. I am in awe of the simple beautiful blessings in life that keep revealing themselves to me when I am ready to see them. To me, that’s like little birds. Emily Dickinson really speaks to this when she wrote of Hope.
Today, House Sparrow Designs is a new venture into layered paintings on glass and Lucite to be installed in places across the United States. The image above is my largest piece to date measuring about 4ft x 8ft. I sent the piece off with “Stand-offs” to create the illusion of a floating painting. I was profoundly overjoyed to see that the piece of many little colorful is installed and the new owner is thrilled. I look forward to more of these projects coming to life this year. The next piece will be for a couple in Boston who want an assortment of Hawaiian tropical fish to adorn their wall.
This new line is shifting my work and takes wall decor to a new level of unique and lovely with original paintings inspired by our planets biodiversity. The hope is to one day be able to work with rehabilitation groups to help use these pieces to fund projects focusing on more global issues with our environment and the creatures who live in it.
There will also be smaller paintings available for purchase online in House Sparrow Home on ETSY.