Fourth of six watercolors of Cuban birds. The spectacular tocororo is the national bird of Cuba, because its colors are more or less those on the flag, and because it dies in captivity. It has a lovely call. I thought it would be rare because of how spectacular it is, but no, we saw it in every wooded spot we visited in SE Cuba. At that time of year, December/January, they would sit near the tops of trees, calling to each other, and occasionally flitting to another treetop. They were cautious but not shy. This watercolor is a composite of my own photos and some from the Internet.
Last year I assembled Baba Yaga's Suitcase for a recycled materials show at Allied Arts in Bellingham. This year, it was the Harpies' turn.
Zeus employed the Harpies, wind spirits, to punish bad guys. Eventually, the Argonauts found them fouling King Phineas' food, and had them driven off. They escaped death when their sister Iris, the Rainbow, intervened. They ended up on some barren Greek islands.
I imagine them passing their retirement years in typical old lady pursuits, dabbling in music, maybe reading a bit. They take a special interest in gardening, perhaps to atone for their their disgusting behavior with King Phineas.
This wall hanging is entitled "The Harpy in her Garden."
The harpies are made from doll heads and arms glued onto beaded turkey bones from my compost heap. I added wings made from a repurposed book but forgot to take photos, sorry about that.
The Book of Secrets has two spines so it is impossible to open it. A perfect way to keep secrets. Take note, Mr. Phineas.
My neighbor was taking apart a century-old rabbit shed, built with hand-adzed cedar slabs. I asked if I could salvage some of the wood, and he sarcastically asked if I would also like the moldy old suitcases in the corner. As a matter of fact, I did. One of them became Baba Yaga's suitcase. The leather one, shown above, became the Harpies' suitcase.
I still have one left.