The Bird Whisperer Project is an initiative started by Melissa Gay and Amanda Makepeace. Each month members do a piece of art inspired by the same reference photo of a bird, and post to social media with #BirdWhisperer.
Our March bird was the greater flamingo. As flamingos are such a quintessential element in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I wanted to pay homage to the work. But how do you do your own take on something that has been so thoroughly and well illustrated?
Though there are a lot of wonderful darker and older Alice interpretations in the world, to me it is a children’s story representing the wonderful, inventive, fantastical and quick connections that the child’s mind makes. The elements of danger are rather nonsensical and safe, especially by Victorian standards. And Alice is only 7 years old.
So I chose to focus on the moment right before Alice gets her bird. Chaos ensues, cards are flying, and we’re just on the brink of seeing Alice drenched in pond water and clutching her prized flamingo.
Special thanks to a fellow artist, Erica Lyn Schmidt for allowing me to use her daughter as a reference for Alice. A step by step process for this painting is available on my Instagram page.