Study in Crimson, 2008, mixed oil media on canvas, 36 x 48 in

The first time C. J. saw wild monk parakeets was on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Florida.  The parakeets had an entire society oblivious to their human neighbors only one story below as they screeched in palm trees planted in the midst of this busy shopping area.  These gorgeous emerald birds – sometimes called Quaker parrots – are wild escapees that originated in Argentina and are now found in wild colonies across the United States, including even the chilly climes of Brooklyn and Chicago.  They have come to symbolize, at least to this artist, an untamed spirit in an over-civilized world, these flying streaks of green and blue dashing over concrete representing the triumph of nature over man’s will.

All these paintings are done in oils on stretched canvas in the Nabi style of Gauguin: the birds here have been modeled, while the plant life and backgrounds are done in brilliant, flat hues with subtle modulations of color and texture, featuring a cloisonné technique that supplies the black, blue, or rust outlines which make the layered colors vibrate.

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