... ... Liisa Rahkonen | ART Elements Gallery

Liisa Rahkonen

I am in awe of birds. It’s not just the variety of colors, silhouettes and patterned feathers that engages me as an artist, but something illusive about them is compelling. They tilt their heads as if listening to something mysterious, and I can only aspire to hear as they do, but cannot. The sound of a loon calling, or the raspy voice of the Great Blue Heron instantly transports me from my world into theirs. Their songs may tell stories of grassy marshes, deep water, reeds, nectar, and air currents, and this inspires me to paint and sculpt, hoping I can capture a sense of a bird’s essence. 

I often see a Kingfisher sitting on a telephone wire above the Schooner Creek Bridge. With laser-like focus and a punk haircut she dives with intention, seeing something beneath the murky surface. She folds her wing, flattens her head-crest and plunges, transforming into a streamline bullet. Like the Kingfisher, I too have intention. But as it turns out, my path and destination is less clear then that of my laser focused sister-bird. In fact, I’ve discovered that painting a specific bird is less important than exploring the mysterious, murky emotional layer beneath. Painting bird-forms allows for endless exploration of a vital connection and relationship between we humans and our winged sisters and brothers.