I have an all out obsession with peacock feathers. Their rich hues and exotic feel first captured my attention in the mall store World Bazar when I was a child in the 70’s. For decades I never did anything about this obsession mostly because “serious art students” should never take inspiration in anything so cliche. Perhaps someone should have told the McIntoshes and the Glasgow Four, or Aubry Beardsley. Like my art and design heroes, I’m now flaunting my feathers.
There is no other color so rich as the blue of a male peacock’s neck and throat. It is strangely difficult to replicate in pigments or dyes because it changes with the angle of light, making it elusive to capture in flat color. It is my most favorite color.
I’ve encountered a few relatively tame peacocks in recent years, and by tame I mean they looked annoyed and derisively at me but let me get close enough to take photos . One occasion was at the San Diego Zoo, where they have lived voluntarily and have been free to come and go for decades.
Another was at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm in Albuquerque when I was a Saul Bell Design Award finalist judge. The organic lavender farm and resort is home to a number of peacocks both white and full color. There was an awkward moment when I met fellow judge Todd Reed and commented on the splendid peacocks that Todd has not seen hide nor hair (nor feather) of since his arrival. As he gave me a quizzical look I realized that he either thought I was loopy or perhaps commenting on the high status of said judges. Mercifully, and is if on cue, we rounded a corner in time to see a photo shoot in progress with one of the white peacocks in full tail-raised glory. Todd looked relieved.
I must have subconsciously dubbed 2019 The Year of the Peacock. Since January, I’ve drawn their tail feathers in pen and ink, painted a full bird in miniature on vellum, and worked them in sterling.
Peacock Splendor III$65.00
Still in love with hand engraving and in defiance of what I had drilled out of me in art school over three decades ago, I created these peacock feather earrings and pendant. Here they are in all their splendor on a stunning model, photographed by Pat Vasquez-Cunningham on my last trip to Albuquerque.
Peacock Splendor I$340.00
Peacock Splendor II$380.00