Mixed media (copper and oil) on canvas
12" x 16"
“Freedom in Flight” sees a number of divergent influences coalescing to create this image. Using pottery, oil and watercolor painting as my chosen mediums for over 20 years, this is the first crossover work, bringing aspects of my pottery and painting endeavors together. In the majority of my works I use images that convey a sense of movement which also correlates to a passage of time. All living organisms move through time, thus movement symbolizes life force. The bird form in “Freedom in Flight” I have used multiple times in both two and three D work, these bird images speak to me as a symbol of grace and freedom, concepts in a visual form.
Working with glazes in pottery, copper oxides are a key ingredient for reds, greens and blues in glaze formulas. I had also worked in a bronze art foundry for a summer when I was younger and been exposed to the process of producing patinas on metal with heat.With this backround as inspiration, five years ago I wondered what results I would get by using copper metal in conjunction with clay.I started cutting copper flashing into shapes and imbedding them in clay, melting the copper into the clay during bisque firing, then creating a subtle patina during barrel firing. Over the winter of 2016-2017 I started noticing a brighter patina caused by the electric heating elements on my copper bottomed cookware. This created incentive to try creating a patina on the copper flashing with direct heat. I used a blowtorch and lemon juice on the copper cut into the bird shape to get the resulting patina.When I saw the results I knew this bird image belonged intergrated into an oil painted sky.
The sky was painted in oils as oil paint has a rich range of colors and blends well. The copper bird shape was glued down after the oils had dried. After setting, two gel coats where applied as a “glaze skin” to fuse the copperand oil painting into one entitiy, just as glaze covers the surface of the clay buth through the firing process, the glaze and the clay become one.