I grew up in Northern Europe, and have always been fascinated with migrating birds, especially with their “training flights” before leaving our part of the world in the fall. From my early childhood I believed that birds fly to Africa for winter.
In my adult life I travel quite a bit, and often go to far away or “exotic” places.
Recently I happened to travel to South Africa, and of course there were birds there. At that point my brain exclaimed: these are the same birds that travel to Northern Europe for the summer! Suddenly I saw the process of bird migration from African from “opposite” point of view. That felt strange, meaningful and existential. The painting “Why do they fly so far away?” addresses that revelation. Another piece, “A Tree Grows in Africa”, dwelles on weather differences between the continents. Here hot African colors blend with freezing North American stormy shades. After coming back to Chicago from Johannesburg, I kept looking at the pictures of South African landscapes, while the North American winter weather was storming outside my studio window.