Patricia Rockwood
Early in life, I found solace in the natural world, which in turn became the first inspiration for my artwork, whether mosaic, drawing, or painting.

Working in mosaics first interested me because it combines the form and texture of sculpture with the brilliant colors of paint. There is a unique relationship between fantasy and substantiality in this medium: Vision joins with a liquid turned solid to turn out an altogether new object. I could easily lose myself as the luminous glass pieces came together little by little.

However, when a serious illness forced me to turn to an artform that required less physical strength, I returned to my first love, drawing – first in pen & ink renderings with watercolor washes, and later acrylic on canvas. I find that paint allows me to bring to life something very close to my heart these days: the decline of birds due to habitat loss and climate change. My series “Ghost Birds” is a visual representation of the aching feeling of impending loss I feel about the slow disappearance of birds that I see around me. In some cultures, birds represent the soul, so if the birds disappear, what happens to our soul? In my artwork, the birds are pale, as if they are starting to fade away, and they look out with questions in their eyes, as if to say, “What will you do when we’re gone?”
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