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As unlikely as it seems, my scratchboard bird "portraits" 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 might have provided a certain status, conveying dignity, respect, and affluence. I found the frames totally abandoned and forlorn. Despite their often-poor condition, I reuse them to heighten the stature of my scratchboard bird “portraits”. Many birds sport crowns on their heads. They are meant to be humorous, but also to prod us into contemplating the reverence we have paid and continue to pay to royalty and those in our society deemed worthy of a portrait.

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