This little Marsh Wren greets the morning from his perch on some reeds. I remember deliberating over my choice of fabrics to painstakingly choose the best spot for each piece. The beige of the bird’s belly and under his tail I was especially proud of because that fabric was very splotchy, but I successfully picked sections that simulate a highlight on the chest and shadow under the tail and wings.
The background was another very careful selection. Over the years I’ve made a few other versions of this Marsh Wren for various reasons, but the sky in this original version has always made it my favorite.
Shortly before I made this picture, I'd been accepted into a program that would place my art in a dozen galleries across my home state of Pennsylvania. Looking back, this picture is bittersweet for me because as much as I like it, it was the beginning of my focus on making art to sell, rather than art for myself. I stopped making any fantasy pictures and instead focused on birds, animals, and landscapes for the next decade. It wasn't until I was living on my own, in a stable relationship and financial situation, that I finally allowed my imagination to take precedence in my art.