The Winter Sparrows and the Japanese Ladies

It is a masterpiece. An amazing piece of art which made itself. It took me more than two months to finish and more than two years to consider it done. My friend Bob Littler gave me the white wood canvas and I hung it on the wall across from my work bench through the whole winter of 2005 in Boston. I was planning to look at it every day until I find the image that was hiding behind the emptiness. I knew for sure it was birds, I just did not know what kind, and if they would come in flocks or just a lonely one. Everyday day I looked at it searching for shapes and forms trying to get a grip of my imagination.

One day I got a brown charcoal and started to put uneven oval shapes here and there, and then I got the black charcoal and pinched the wood on the top of those shapes. It was so simple, so unworried, and so spontaneous. I let it rest for some days and when I was sure that all the birds had arrived, I applied painting on the top of the charcoal and completed the whole scene scratching the leaves on the background. Two months later, the great photographer David Spencer named it “The Chickadees”, after some time he came back to the studio to tell me that they were actually sparrows and changed the name for “The Sparrows”. A year later a nice lady visiting the open studios at the famous Plain St annual open studio in Rockland, Ma approached me to say that she loved my Japanese ladies. I was intrigued and asked her to show me where she saw  such a thing once I only paint birds, so she pointed me the little birds; explained that they were Japanese women, dressed in their kimonos, going up to their temple.

It was a bizarre experience seeing the two faces of this painting for the first time. I am also amazed by the reaction this image causes on people and the stories it generates.

Then we all declared officially that a masterpiece had been born, and I named it The Winter Sparrows and the Japanese Ladies.

The Masterpiece

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