DOWN UNDER oil on canvas 48 x 24″ available

Underneath all those cleverly protective, water-resistant, aerodynamic, heat-retentive feathers, there is indeed a lot of down. Oh, sure, it’s insulation. But I think it’s largely for snuggling little ones.

I also suspect there is good reason for all our bird-related child-rearing terms: we say that expectant mothers possess nesting instincts, that a careful parent is a mother hen, that being protected is taken under someone’s wing, that when our off-spring grow up, they spread their wings and fly away, leaving their parents to be empty-nesters. Birds are good at this mothering and rearing stuff. And back in the day, most people had backyard chickens to look to as examples.

In my chicken-keeping friend’s backyard, I see all that and the wonders of feathers’ beauty and function. I love white on white (and oh, that perfect touch of black in just the right places!) And then there’s all those layers overlapping and enfolding each other. Like an embrace.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind being taken under a wing now and then. Warm, protected, and downy underneath… .


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  1. Reply
    Jim Carpenter June 25, 2015

    My college summer job was in a little family-run mattress factory. On Saturdays I was often assigned to the feather room to stuff custom made pillows. There were huge burlap bags of feathers – chicken feathers, white goose feathers, and down. Nearly 50 years later I can still feel the different textures of the feathers – what chicken feathers felt like vs goose feathers. And, what a sensation it was to reach into the burlap sack and try to get a fistful of down and put it on the scale. They were lighter than air, so soft, and expensive enough to make me think of them as a luxury. Your painting and your blog post ignite my memories and my senses.
    It is a lovely painting. You must have enjoyed creating it.

    • Reply
      Bronle Crosby June 25, 2015

      I did. It gave me that sense of comfort, warmth, and bed (pulling that feather duvet over your head to snatch a nap or ditch the world for a while). Thanks, Jim, great story.

  2. Reply
    Elizabeth Merchant August 7, 2015

    Down Under creates a soft, comfy, cozy, safe – state of mind within the viewer. And with that … buyers will come flocking … no pun intended – but too good to resist. An exquisite work.

    • Reply
      Bronle Crosby October 14, 2015

      Thank you, Elizabeth, for the vote of confidence. Much appreciated. Cozy, safe, and subtle is all good.

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