Thursday, December 20, 2007


The Bird Proofer - 1999 - 81x57cm

The 'The Bird Proofer' is drawn in pencil and painted in acrylic on paper. Turpentine was used to dissolve the 8B pencil, which was then rubbed into the surface of the paint. The work was then re-defined using the 8B black pencil and a white conte' pencil.

A 'Bird Proofer' is a title I made up to describe someone who uses nets to stop birds eating fruit. The nets that are covering trees, can be seen in the drawing behind the man The figure represents a simple greedy man who is so greedy that he even stops the birds feeding. Obviously, farmers need to stop the birds eating too much of their crop, but I am using this image as a metaphor for greed and ignorance.

The figure was drawn at night in my studio: I was using my reflection in a studio window as a guide - the only accurate thing about the figure, is the checkered shorts which I was wearing at the time. The person described in the drawing is a brutish, simple and confrontational man, who is likely to shoot you for trespassing.

In the banner of my blog it mentions 'the black locust'. This is a phrase from an unfinished song of mine - here are the lyrics so far.

The black locust flies at night, and I walk in it's shadow.
I know I am not a good man, and need to live in some shame.
Can anybody save me from myself.
Almost repentance and I am down on the floor.
Songs of experience, songs of innocence.
Coming down on me, coming down on me, coming down on me.

So there you have it - some of the mystery explained.


  1. thank you for this...i had been wondering about your title. i am most intrigued. what attracts you to using this metaphor?

    just wanted to stop by to wish you a very joyous holiday. thank you for sharing your gifts with us here.

  2. Well, in some way the blog title was picked out of a hat. But then again, as a teenager I always thought art had to carry some sort of message. Even as young as 12 or 13 years I had the notion that the poetic or esorteric had to be a core aspect of art, that was goal to express. Of course I didn't use that terminology, but in hindsight, I feel understood the principle. So as an adult I have carried these motivational concepts with me.
    So have a nice Xmas - and thanks for your sincere apraisal and question.


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