Hope’s Starlings – Murmurations

This painting of starlings has been used as the cover art for the indie/folk album Murmurations. SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA I created random effects with paint drying slowly under cellophane then worked back into this with deeper tones. murmuration 1 I had several attempts at depicting this idea.  In the version above, the blocks of swaying rushes were formed by tensing the cellophane vertically in the lower section and the murmuration shapes came from pulling the upper part horizontally. I used wax resist on the murmuration to create granularity from beading of subsequent layers of drying paint. This painting is used on the inside cover of the album. SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA In these first attempts, I had tried to paint in each bird individually, though this loses the sense of coordination of the flock.  Details from the painting below front the album insert and intersperse the lyrics. SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA I have played Hope’s Starlings to and from work these last few days since singer songwriter Kate Sutherland sent me the albums.  This is an all female group, mostly singing unaccompanied or with gentle drum rhythm.  The sense of the album is of an ageless female spirituality rooted in the natural world.  It dragged out of my memory a similar use of pared down lyrics and minimal accompaniment to reach towards spiritual expression, albeit in a more overtly religious setting.

11 responses to “Hope’s Starlings – Murmurations

  1. A beautiful rendering of a scene I know well – just up the road from where I live. My friend Jackie Curtis ( http://www.jcurtisart.com ) has a local exhibition called Murmuration on at the moment. I’ve drawn her attention to your work as the inspiration is so similar, though she mostly does woodcuts and other prints.
    Congratulations on the cover. The tor is always a winner, too!

  2. Thanks again for your beautiful contribution to our album! I must say, your paintings get lots of compliments, they’re absolutely a perfect fit.
    (Hoping you received my email a while back?)
    Take care, and I hope we can keep in touch for future projects, and just in general 🙂
    And thanks for posting the album.

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