Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles was the first picture in my college thesis.

I came up with the idea for this picture about a week before the end of my Christmas vacation my senior year of college. I ended up working 15 hour days for a solid week to get it finished before flying back to school. I was even up at 4am the morning of my flight back to Florida dying the sky and finishing the assembly. Fortunately, I completed the whole thing about an hour before I had to leave and was able to take it rolled up in muslin on the plane as my carry-on.

I learned a valuable lesson from this picture about dying my own fabric. About three years after I made it I realized the sky didn't look as rich as the photo. I had apparently not ironed the hand-dyed sky long enough to set the dye, and as a result it was fading over time.

In 2015, I decided to fix it. The original sky was almost completely white by that point. I dyed an entirely new piece of fabric for the sky and ironed it correctly to permanently set the color. Then I VERY carefully lifted the sweeping clouds and eagles from the faded background. In some places I opted to leave the faded fabric in place and just cut around the eagles' wings to avoid damaging the delicate feathers. I also chose to completely remove the whispy clouds behind the eagles. Then I laid in the new sky and re-attached the eagles and clouds.

This image shows the original illustration.