Sandhill Crane Screen

Sandhill Cranes (details) | oil on gold leaf on panel by Margaret Fitz-Gibbon

This is a portion of one of the panels of a screen my grandma painted some years ago. It’s always been a favourite of mine. The whole thing is 12′ long by 6′ tall and made up of 6 individual panels.

My grandma paints intermittantly now and no longer in this style. She finds painting on gold leaf physically tiring – especially at this size. Much of the time painting is spent tipping the panels at just the right angle to avoid glare. The subject matter, however, is still very similar – birds and plants. It kills me how she can pick up a pencil to draw, sometimes after a break of 1 or more years, and produce an absolutley perfect little bird or bud or leaf. She insists that when I’m her age it’ll be the same for me and that even when she’s not drawing she thinks about it. But I do the same – I just find when I’ve had time off I need to retrain the muscles in my drawing hand and reconnect the line between my eyes, my brain and my hand and I just don’t seem to find the same ease with it as she seems to.