Celebration Masks by Bobbi Headder

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Delilah Image

Artist Comments:

Delilah has a penchant for peacocks.

Some communities around here have resident peacocks. One day while I was traveling from one point to another a handsome specimen crossed my path. As he leisurely strutted across the street impeding me and the traffic behind me, it occurred to me that my next mask would feature peacock feathers.

I started my sketch with the bird itself in mind and placed a bird-like form conspicuously on the face of the mask. I had already toned the canvas with gold gesso. Then using soft modeling paste, I sculpted the bird form and covered him with gold gesso.

I found a supplier online from whom I bought a variety of peacock feathers ranging from head to tail and some in between.

After painting the first layer of the mask, I loosely placed the feathers in many different configurations so I could make a decision as to how much detail to put on the mask itself. I discovered and decided that I would not put feathers on the bird, that I would paint it. It took several tries painting the bird to arrive at something I liked. In general, there were many starts and stops along the way. In this piece I have introduced both iridescent and interference colors. One of the aspects that make it so intriguing but will be lost in a camera shot is the way the interference and iridescent colors change as you shift the canvas. Depending on the tilt and angle, the viewer becomes aware of the color shift.

One of the interesting things about painting, at least for me, is that you think you are in charge of the process and progress. But more often than not, that is not the case. The "next" step is always informed by the painting itself. The painting wants what the painting wants. In this case Delilah guided me.

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