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  • Writer's pictureTina Rae

Take These Wings and Fly; The Process and Inspiration

Some people have asked for more stories behind the creation of my artwork, sometimes I hesitate because I love for each piece to speak to the viewer in a unique way, so if that is you, read no further, ... but if you want to know more, I thought that I would start with the piece "Take These Wings and Fly" which is included in the 100 Kelloggs "Art Comp" show in London, Ontario which is up until Sept 5th of this year.

I originally had the idea come to mind to create the guitar. I envisioned the multifaced triangles coming together to capture the light and then to incorporate the strings. I had no idea what to do in the background, so I sat with the idea for a few months, started cutting some triangles and hoped for some inspiration.

I did not know how to complete the piece until a few months later when I attended an art conference called "Gathering of Artisans" in North Carolina. I learned a new technique in artist, Aeron Brown's, class with mixed media which I later decided to incorporate in the background. I loved how he encouraged us to pick pieces of printed materials that brought meaning to us and seemed to resonate with us as we created the piece and to allow the artwork to come together in more of an organic way rather than a planned way. This technique was one step closer to where I needed to be.

Then on the Friday of the conference, I felt inspired during the worship music session and was reminded of a photo that I had taken of birds on a clothes line and felt that I needed to add the birds to the piece of art. I wasn't quite sure why the combination of the two, but felt I needed to follow this spiritual prompting because sometimes you need to follow that intuition.

I went home and proceeded to execute the artwork that came to mind. I loved how it came together. I hand cut all the copper triangles, and for contrast I torched colour into the neck, and bridge of the guitar. I waited to adhere them until I had completed my collage background and covered it with a phthalo blue wash and then I proceeded to paint the birds on the clothesline before finally adhering the copper pieces and guitar strings.

I loved how it came together and posted my finished piece on a facebook group and invited people to help me with the final step, to give it a title. There were several great suggestions and I thought them through as I did some of my own research. I researched famous songs like "Blackbird" from the Beatles, and poetry by Maya Angelou, "The Caged Bird", among others which all contained lyrics that were so close to what I wanted, but not what quite felt right.

It came together one evening when someone had left open a Bible for me to read but did not specify which one verse. As I sat there, I scanned the page and read Proverbs 26:2 (in the CEV version) which says, "like a curse you don't deserve, take wings and fly away like a sparrow or a swallow." I felt the verse was pointed out to me and everything clicked into place. It sounded like the song I knew and the poetry I'd read, it referred to the birds, and it was rooted in scripture so I knew that the title was the right fit. And that was how I arrived at the title I chose, "Take These Wings and Fly."

The birds, the music, guitar and the faith component seemed to all come together in the title but it has been neat to see how meaningful it has been to others without even telling them of the process I have gone through to create the painting. I don't tend to be overtly spiritual with the message in my artwork because I would rather see how people pick that up when they view the art.

I am open to people gleaning their own meaning because I think that is how art should work, but I also believe that is how the Holy Spirit works. This is one of those pieces where I have had people tell me that both the instrument and the birds together have meant so much to them. One person won a print of this artwork and was so impacted by the piece because both the birds and the music reminded them of a loved one who had passed away. Others just love the guitar and recently I had someone speak of how the concept of sound in artwork was so appealing to them.

I am glad for whatever way this piece may appeal to you and that I have also been able to share about my inspiration process of this piece.


If you haven't voted for your favourite piece, I invite you to add your vote. You are welcome to choose any piece you want, but I would be so appreciative if you were willing to support me in voting for my piece.

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Such an inspiring piece..RP

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