Circle of Life

Last summer we watched as a pair of robins built a nest under our porch and then patiently waited for the baby robins to hatch. Ever so diligently, the parent robins fed and tended the babies. Eventually they were big and strong enough to fly away on their own.  As is the habit of young robins though, they sort of hung around the porch and yard area for a day or two. One of the young robins though succumbed to the lure of tree and sky reflections on our picture window and flew right into it.  This has happened many times over the years with some birds recovering and others dying. The little robin in this story didn’t make it.  When I found the bird, it looked very peaceful and had its wings pulled around its body.  Even in death, this bird was quite beautiful.  I knew I would represent this image somehow in an artwork.

Below is the initial development from photograph to ‘spirit guide’ image for my planned artwork


From the bird’s photo to this small planning sketch, the design went through many transformations and sizes.

I have to plan for various sections of the artwork to be silk-screened separately when working in my usual large format of around 48″.


For the border design above, I was inspired from the organic lines of the Art Nouveau style of art, (especially Aubrey Beardsley’s work.) These various borders also have to be enlarged and worked in sections.

Then I developed numerous variations of the bird with different painting and printing techniques and fabric media.  Below is the front and back of several I ended up not using in my finished artwork. (They may appear in another artwork in the future.)


(My paperweight really ‘rocks’!!!)


As I mentioned before each section of my artwork was printed separately. I used thickened fabric dyes and a process called deconstructed silkscreen to create the basic image. Below is my practice dye chart as a reference for my color scheme.


Here are several of the silk-screened sections.

Deconstructed silkscreen gives me the kind of random, textured, multicolored lines that I live for as an artist!

detail 1detail 2

After the silk-screening is completed and the dyes are set, I am ready for the next phase. Carefully my fabric is laminated to a stretched canvas with acrylic varnish. Once dry, this surface is ready for more development with collage and acrylic painting. These birds below were painted on separate fabric and then collaged onto the design.

detail 3

And finally, here is the completed artwork, Waiting for Resurrection.

Waiting for Resurrection

Thank you for your inspiration little bird!



  1. Cathleen Gable
    August 10, 2016

    So beautiful and thought-provoking. Knowing the story adds such depth to the work.

    • Sharon
      August 10, 2016

      Thanks, Cathy!

  2. Diane Brandt
    August 10, 2016

    Beautiful work Sharon ! Loved the story of its’ inspiration for you.

    • Sharon
      August 10, 2016

      Glad you liked it Diane!

  3. Jackie Flick
    August 10, 2016

    I loved reading the process of how your art evolved. What I enjoyed more, however, was the meaning and inspiration behind your creation. Beautiful rationale and final product. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Sharon
    August 10, 2016

    Thanks, Jackie! Hope you have a good school year!


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