A rare day goes by that I am not thankful for the gift of sight as an artist. It has coaxed me into the heart of things by leading my focus into the small nooks and crannies of nature, which I would miss under other circumstances.
The rose is a perfect example offering subtleties of light, form, and texture in endless combinations. Fresh roses will change quickly. Petals will unfold and shift position within an hour. Because I prefer to paint from life and each piece takes several hours to produce, I turned to dried roses, which hold their form. I also find their altered color, wrinkled textures, and brittleness to be beautiful.
Birds also being delicate and fragile seemed to be suitable mates to the roses and just flew in. Difficult models because of their wary behavior, it was necessary to photograph them with a telephoto lens as they perched on a feeder outside our kitchen window. There are many associations that can be made with the resulting imagery, but I will leave that to the viewer.
— Mark Curtin