A Royal Bevy
royal, adjective, \ ̍r ȯ I(-ə)l\
1a: of kingly ancestry
1b: of, relating to the crown
bevy, noun, \̍be-vē\
1: a large group or collection
2: a group of animals and especially quail
As unlikely as it seems, my bird series started with a collection of cherished, vintage picture frames. I acquired them by combing through flea markets, garage sales, and dumps. Given their size and shape, the frames presumably held portraits, perhaps of loved ones, or well-respected ancestors. They imparted dignity and respect; they conveyed affluence and prosperity. At one time, they were valuable and might have given a certain status to the homeowners whose walls they adorned. I found them totally abandoned, forlorn. I wanted to reuse my frames to confer those same properties onto new images. My questions were . . . What images were worthy of these noble frames? What portraits would be stately, commanding dignity and respect? Birds immediately came to mind. They are beautiful, regal creatures. About the same time, I found some old scratchboard lying around my studio. I knew it could be used to produce striking, graphic images with intricate line work. It would be useful in depicting beaks and feathers alike. I scratched feverishly for many months making an assortment of birds, then crowned them adding a touch of royalty. Now framed, they number almost thirty. Those old, empty picture frames now hold a whole bevy of birds, a Royal Bevy. The original bevy was exhibited with Annika Lindfor's graphite drawings in Into the Woods at the Dana L. Wiley Gallery in Dayton, Ohio from October through December 2020.