Paintings > Alchemical Feathers

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Alchemical Feathers



In the process of making inks I perform many tests.  One of these involves pouring the ink across  a piece of paper to see how it flows, the rate at which pigments precipitate, and the relative viscosities of binders and other ingredients.  I write various observations on these experiments and pin them to a wall for reference.  One day I looked at this wall of notes and, to my delight, realized that the poured forms of these tests looked like feathers.  I had unwittingly forged a delightful statement regarding the imagination.  The French philosopher Gaston Bachelard noted that “the dynamic imagination puts seemingly unrelated objects into the same motion.”  On this wall I had given stones—the motionless denizens of the earth—the agency of weightlessness and flight.  The earth, in the form of feathers, was being given back to the sky.


This series of paintings were first exhibited at Walla Walla Foundry in 2006.  Since then I have continued to make them.  The most recent pieces have been made in collaboration with Timothy C. Ely for our exhibition Squaring the Circle at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (August, 2010).

Read Julia Hunter's essay on these paintings.