So last month I was listening to the CBC Radio show, Q, on my way home from work. Q is an interview talk show that features artists, writers and musicians. I listen to it because it is on when I get done with the night shift at work. I never catch a whole episode – just the twenty or thirty minutes of it between work and home. On this particular night, they had Canadian artist Kim Dorland on talking about his work and influences. It is a great interview, and I highly suggest listening to it.
When I did, I had a moment of blinding inspiration. At 3:39 in the interview, Dorland states very clearly that he is a magpie who steals beautiful things from the people he respects and admires. I could not possibly give you a more apt description of what it is to be an artist in this day and age. It was such a stunning statement that I had to turn the radio off and recite, “I am a magpie.” to myself over and over again. I got home, parked the car and RAN to the studio where I wrote down these words.
What flooded into my head was a lush green background with beautiful magpies. Have you ever seen one? I’ve been obsessing over them for a whole month now. They have put everything else in my life on pause, because all I want to do is draw magpies. Basically what’s been going on in the studio for a month is a deepening of my love affair with the beauty and intelligence of corvids.
I’ve done a lot of china marker on black paper for this, and only recently have I graduated to the ink on glassine stage, but I am crazy assembling elements for a small mixed media series on magpies. It’s been a crazy time in my life lately, but art has really helped to keep me going.