Late 2014, I was commissioned by Bloedel Floral Conservatory to create exclusive pieces for the 45th anniversary & reopening of the new dome. I was thrilled for this project as I love animals and that meant for me to go inside the dome and observe those exotic birds for inspiration. What a fun project!
I spent a whole afternoon one day sitting at different corners watching these glamorous creatures hanging out and doing their own things. It was an experience out of this world for me. Did you know that some of these parrots talk to you? I got caught off-guard and didn't realize that one of these beauties is saying hello to me. He wasn't giving up until I said hi back. After all it is only polite to say hi back!
Finally I sat by a fig tree where a single very exotic, colourful parrot was sitting on a tree branch. I was fascinated by his behaviour and also noticed that every now and then he would turn around and check me out. In a very fun flirtatious way, he'd reach over to make sure I can see him. How cute!
His movements were so precise and the clear lines of his feather, caught my attention that I knew I had to start drawing him. I quickly took out my drawing pads and drew some sketches and also recorded his body movements for my references.
I was mesmerized!
After spending another hour with him, I grabbed by notepads and my pens and went directly to my studio to update my drawings and start carving his image on wax. I was so thrilled and filled with energy that I couldn't wait to go through the whole process of his creation in metal.
After a few weeks of carving and correcting, re-carving and correcting, I was finally happy with the result. He is sitting on a bamboo stick.
I like how serious he looks in this model, as he looked when he checked me out!
Then it was time for me to make a mold and transfer this carving into metal through casting.
Here it's me carving the mold.
And the final piece after casting...
I named him Art, after the parrot I met. He is one of a few birds in the conservatory who doesn't have a mate and is quite a Lady's Man! It is a must visit place if you are in Vancouver or passing through.
*First 2 photos are courtesy of Bloedel Conservatory