The New Life of Feathers

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

Publication Date



When a feather is no longer part of a living bird it is, in essence, dead. When I pick it, up it is reborn. My artwork records and constructs these new stories. The story may reflect where and when the feather was found, what I was doing at the time, my thoughts or feelings when I picked it up, or the character found in the feather itself.

To reveal these stories, I paint my three-dimensional feather collection into trompiel two-dimensional images using watercolors. The qualities of the paint lend themselves beautifully to the loose flowing lines and weightless quality of the feathers. I also incorporate text and other graphic elements including scientific and mathematical references into each work to create the appearance of a scientific journal entry. This draws the viewer in closer to examine the new life of each feather. As we look at scientific items, rather than art objects, the cognitive process changes. Instead of looking only for pleasure or visual stimulation, we look to discover. The combination of the artistic and scientific styles stimulates both cognitive processes so as viewers look at my art they instinctively begin searching for the story of the feathers.

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