Sanda Iliescu: Arrivals, An Unexpected Aviary

24 August – 22 September
  • Selected Images

    Female Yellow Warbler, Dendroica Petechia, Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Fish Crow, Corvus Ossifragus, Mixed media on paper, 8 x 10”, 12 x 14” framed, $1200

    Tufted Titmouse, Baelophus Bicolor, Mixed Media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Pheucticus Ludovicianus, Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Pine Siskin, Carduelus Pimus, Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    My Mother’s White Bird, Aris Alba est Mater Mia, 2013. Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    My Mother’s White Bird, Aris Alba est Mater Mia, 2013. Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Mocking Bird, Mimus Polyglotos, Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Green Heron, Butorides Virescens, Mixed media on paper, 11 x 8 ½”, 15 x 12 ½” framed,$1200

    Dove, Columba, Mixed Media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    City Pigeon, Columba Liria, Mixed media on paper. 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    City Pigeon, Columba Liria, Mixed media on paper. 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Gray Catbird, Dumetella Carlinensis, Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200 (sold)

    Black and White Warbler, Muiotilta Varia, Mixed Media on collage on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

     

    Black Bellied Plover, Plovialis Squatarola, Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Barred Owl, Strix Varia, 2013. Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Baltimore Oriole, Icterus Galbula, Mixed Media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

    Carolina Chickadee, Poecile Carolinemsis, Mixed media on paper, 8 x 8”, 12 x 12 framed, $1200

  • Artist Statement

    An Unexpected Aviary: Birds Drawn with My Left Hand

    Approximately 8 x 8 inches; mixed media on paper; 2010-2015 (196 drawings)

    I started this series in order to teach myself to draw with my non-dominant, left hand. The more I drew, the more I enjoyed using my “other” hand.  I liked its delicacy and deliberateness, its awkwardness and slowness… The left hand insisted I draw in a steady and minimal way. I had to be precise and concise. Every line had to mean something: there could be no wasted marks.  

    It seemed like magic: the way I could convey a bird’s distinctive character—her personality—with just a few lines. Some birds are fragile and shy, others incredibly bold; some are angry or petulant, others exuberantly happy; some soar, others float gently, and others simply stand their ground…

    Perhaps more than the right, my left hand delights in the endless possibilities of drawn lines moving on a page.  Fast lines, and slow lines; broken and gently sweeping ones; harsh and jagged ones; sweet lines; lines that echo each other lines that touch and lines that do not touch… With just lines I could suggest not only the peculiar character of the bird but also a set of relations between the bird and its specific context… I knew the drawing was going well when an atmosphere emerged: a way of seeing and of being in thatplace where the bird lived.

    But why draw birds?  I could have used my left hand to draw any number of things. The truth is that I simply love birds and pictures of birds—yes, even those cheesy ones printed on hallmark cards. A bird can be so adorable, delicate, and innocent. Like all animals birds lack guile and dishonesty. And, of course, all birds are somewhat fantastical—miraculous even.  They do something we human cannot naturally do: they fly, float, and dance in the air.

    My love of birds made it easy to draw them over and over.  Each morning, I rested my soul by looking at a bird. I did this almost every day, for five years, between 2010 and 2015.  I stuck with it. I drew, erased, tore up, and stitched fragments of drawings together. My drawing models varied. I drew birds I found in books, birds on greeting cards, birds I remembered, and birds I saw in our backyard: alighting on our bird feeder, resting on branches of bushes, or just hopping around grassy areas looking for worms…  

    Sanda Iliescu