Shall We Fly?

Shall We Fly?

I had finished my last painting of a roseate spoonbill over a year ago when I saw a photograph of a ballerina online and knew I had to paint her…so I took a  screenshot. I had called the spoonbill painting Shall We Dance? because that bird reminded me of a ballerina about to dance. Now I had a photograph of a ballerina in a fantastic costume that reminded me of the spoonbill enough to think she might be asking him to fly, if only she had the chance! Some paintings come easy. This one didn’t. I started with the grisaille at the end of July last year,  did some traveling in August and then worked on her on and off, in between other paintings, for a couple of months. As my friend Alan Winter ( has sometime said, “the muse is not always with me,” The ballerina lived on the floor in the corner of my studio until last month. when I decided to stop trying to make her look like a bird and just let her be the beautiful, graceful reminder (for me) of that bird.  

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