Who doesn’t enjoy seeing amazing portraits of wildlife? Wild animals are powerful and beautiful, and artist Josie Morway knows exactly how to make them stand out in her paintings.
Birds are often a part of her oil and enamel paintings and she explained why:
“I don’t mean for them to be read too literally, but rather hope they lend a certain feeling of portentousness to the pieces. I like referencing religious icon paintings and other forms of ‘serious’ historic painting, but using animals and birds in the place of saints, etc. I’m going for the feeling of narrative realism, but working with a narrative that’s mysterious, missing some information, open to the viewer’s interpretation.”
When I went out for an early mtb shred this morning I was thinking (before the flat and the total fail) what a privilege it is to plunge into nature as often as I do in my urban setting. Which led me to think about what a privilege it is to gaze at and think about wildlife all day, to be allowed to turn my attention away from the man-made/man-unmade world. It’s healthy-making, it’s inspiring, it’s uncommon fortune denied many. So it must also be a privilege to feel so much discomfort in the early stages of paintings. This is the phase during which I'm not sure I'll ever finish a good one again, when I don't know if another decent idea will really make it from inkling to concept to hand to public eye. But that's a pretty rad sort of discomfort to sit with… it means that almost every day I get to push beyond the familiar, get to rethink my route, have the chance of being surprised by what emerges. Some days it's a flat tire but on another day it might be a masterpiece, and it’s a rare freedom I have, not knowing what kind of day each day will be.
This finished piece is off to @antlerpdx for LAX/PDX II, curated by @thinkspace_art. • Thinking about the image of ouroboros – the snake swallowing it’s own tail – ultimate symbol of cyclical nature. There is destruction and renewal, death and life in all things, and we as humans can have a tremendously hard time seeing the difference… or conceiving of the ultimate lack of difference. • Oil and gold enamel on wood panel.