Why Birds?

I was asked why birds?

As a sculptor/author and creator of a realm of creatures who have come to earth to help preserve the environment, raise awareness to issues facing the planet and its inhabitants and open a dialogue for hope, I was recently asked, why did I choose birds to carry my message? 

So given the incentive to ponder the question I thought to share my answer.

I’ve always been fascinated by creatures that could fly. Flying squirrels, bats, birds, butterflies, dragons and such. Though I tend to avoid whenever possible, flying bugs and winged critters that sting and bite. 

Thinking back, my interaction with birds as a child growing up in Chicago didn’t seem extraordinary. My mother’s mother had pet parakeets, beautiful creatures that lived in a shinny birdcage hanging from an ornate iron stand, whose chirps and warbles welcomed my visits. My father’s father raised homing pigeons in coops on the rooftop of his south side apartment building.  That was cool. I would watch in amazement as they took to the air and fly out over the cityscape. It was thrilling to enter the coop, have them tassel my hair and roost on my outstretched arms. 

I grew up in a home on the edge of the city, with an apple tree, a rose garden and a large vacant lot next door where tall weeds and wildflowers, garden snakes, field mice and wild things roamed; where small flocks of migrating birds would set down and yard birds were welcome. I would jump for joy at the first sighting of Robins. Visits to nearby Lake Michigan were a constant delight, running through the sand chasing shore birds as they scavenged for fish. I remember fondly summer camp in Wisconsin when I first spied raptors and eagles soaring high above the pine forests. I would always marvel at birds ability to fly, to move at will across the country, to navigate unburdened by gravity, to function summer and winter without adding layers of protective coverings, I would run around with my arms spread wide, fly a kite or throw handmade paper airplanes in the air but they could truly capture the wind and soar off to lands unknown.

Fascinating creatures birds. So many varieties exist on earth yet we still know so little about them and their relationship with humans throughout history except through myth and legend. Their beauty never fails to excite me however I was never driven to study them in depth or to become an avid birder. I was happy to simply accept them as one of those true wonders of nature, mysterious creatures whose evolution inspired awe.

For the past 7 years I’ve lived up at 8,000 ft. in Colorado, in what some have described as a contemporary glass enclosed tree house that perches on the side of a mountain looking out over peaks and valleys of lush pine forests, aspen groves and wandering creeks - a place where seasons are marked by the arrival and departure of hummingbirds - a place where Blue Stellar Jays and dozens of other types of birds are my nearest neighbors. I watch them at our bird feeders as they flit in and out of sight and speak in a language I do not understand. I turn my eyes to the sky and glimpse giant winged shapes crossing the valley and I wonder where their journey will take them.

But my art is not truly about birds. Unbound to the realities of bird anatomy, physiology and intellect, as an artist I am free to let my imagination soar and just draw my inspiration from these marvelous creatures. Doing so has allowed for the evolution of an entirely new species, the Amazar Avians. Their basic shape, form and physical attributes of my sculptures do indeed have similarities to the birds of earth and it is that commonality that often attracts my audience. From there we can embark on a magical journey.

As a child I can remember the excitement I felt when finding a fallen feather, I would treasure that connection with a creature that could soar the sky and conjure stories in my head about the adventures of the bird that left it behind. It was a gift from above. 

So now I create feathered creatures bearing gifts for all. Is there some connection here with what I’ve just shared? Perhaps.  I invite you to invite your friends to discover more about my Amazar Tales at www.amazaravians.world