Back in early February, I was marbling in the studio, getting ready for the South Pasadena Arts Crawl, and using up the last of the bath and alumed papers. Despite being exhausted after a long day at the tank, several wonderful things happened in that last half hour--including the piece that makes up this month's header. But undoubtedly the most lovely thing to happen was the discovery that I could make a hummingbird out of a single drop of paint. I've featured two of these on the blog before here and here but have saved, what I consider to be, the best for last.
I can barely express how beautiful these pieces are in person. I love everything about them, from the background (which feels as fluid as a hummingbird in motion) to the texture and color of the paper ("bier paper" made by combining recycled beer labels with malt, yeast, and hops leftover from brewing!) to the size of the hummingbirds (which are the same size as ones in real life).
I knew these pieces were special and had them professionally framed.
I wanted to keep both of these for myself. You have no idea how badly I wanted to. How badly I REALLY, REALLY wanted to. But the second these came off the bath there was one person I thought of immediately: my neighbor, Raynee (and when Emmett saw them, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Oh, Raynee's going to love that!"). There are a thousand reasons why I felt compelled to give her at least one of these pieces (one for every time she and Nick have been wonderful to us) but the main one is because she is a hummingbird lover. She has six feeders and religiously keeps them full year-round. The result is a backyard decorated with, at times, upwards of 50 or so of these delicate, precious, tiny birds and their flashes of brilliant color around their necks. They sit on the feeders and telephone wires and up in my Elderberry tree and then swoop about buzzing through the air. It is a wonderful gift she has given not just to herself but to me also.
And so one of my pieces now sits above the fireplace in her living room. I have kept the other one for myself, of course, and it too hangs in my living room. The truth is, the two hung together side-by-side would be off-the-charts steller...but I just couldn't part with them both. She knows this. I told her how hard it was for me to part with one and made her promise to will it back to me when she dies! And every time she sees me, she says with a sigh and a smirk, "Oh, it would be nice to have a set of those marbled hummingbird pieces."
In a way though, they do hang side-by-side---one in her house, one in mine. And like the hummingbirds gathering at the feeders, Raynee and I also enjoy sharing a drink together, regularly swooping between homes for happy hour. Perhaps the Universe never intended the two pieces to share the same space in the first place. Perhaps everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be.