I started painting birds when I wanted to change the energy in my studio. It was March and there was a heavy late winter feeling. I bought a roll of Aqua blue acid free drawing paper and projected sketches of cranes I’d done based on photos found in National Geographic. I bought some oil pastels and made the cranes dance across my walls. The roll of paper gave me space for eight big drawings.

Crows on red paper followed. The grassland birds came after hearing a biologist on public radio talk about the dramatic decline in common birds as a result of farming practices since the late 1960s.

The plants evolved out of the rooted pieces and loving the elegance of trees. Painting plants offers the opportunity to hone in on a detail of a landscape’s beauty and talk about the functioning system.

Blue Jay, drawing.