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acrylic on cradled board 16" x 20"

The process of painting is a series of many decisions. In this case, most of those decisions were made completely randomly.

For this trompe l'oeil piece, I started with the frame, House Sparrow and vine, which were designed in the normal manner, and a list of recently extinct and critically endangered American bird species. I then created a series of chance games to make the other decisions for me: the layout of tiles, the positions the birds are drawn in, which birds are on which tiles, and the colors they're painted. The actual painting process was very fun, since instead of striving towards an understood vision, I was progressing towards a completely unknown destination. The birds on the tiles are, from upper left: Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Kaui Akialoa, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Great Auk, Labrador Duck, Hawaiian Duck, Carolina Parakeet, Heath Hen, Snail Kite, Passenger Pigeon, Short-tailed Albatross, Ashy Storm-petrel. Gunnison Sage Grouse, Eskimo Curlew, Florida Jay, Masked Bobwhite, Whooping Crane, Hawaiian Crow, Marbled Murrelet, Laysan Teal, California Condor, Golden-cheeked Warbler.