I was impressed by Albrect Durer in my teens as a young artist. I had a book of his drawings, hardback, smallish, square. It had this drawing on the cover, painted in 1512 by the master. It always stuck in my mind as a source of inspiration. Almost more that if he had painted the whole bird, the wing invokes all kinds of aspirations in us humans. It certainly did for me.
Simple, but impressively detailed. Why do we like wings so much? We attach them to people and call them angels. In the time of Durer, Da Vinci was contemplating the flight of man. Centuries before in Greek mythology, Icarus used the wings his father, Deadalus made, and took off into the heavens. He went too close to the sun, and the heat melted the wax that held the feathers together. He crashed to the earth as a result. The sculptors near Samothrace carved a woman with wings. Now it is the famous “Winged Victory” It wasn’t until the Wright brothers man cracked the riddle of flight. But the wing has possessed our psyche the whole time, since 1512 and before.
I loved this small colored drawing by Durer. I also never forgot his signature: AD. This inspired me to come up with my own monogram: MR.
I started this series of wing drawings of my own, recalling my early attraction to Durer. They are not “realistic renderings” like the old master’s, but I think they capture the essence of why we are attracted to wings. They give us direction upwards. They give us the possibility of “flight” into our spiritual nature. They remind us of other dimensions, perhaps not yet attained or experienced, but perennially hoped for as the destiny of our aspirations.
THANK YOU Albrecht, for staying with me all of these years, 500 years later. Time is not real. Wings are always real.
MEDIUM: Water Color, Ball Point Pen, and Colored Pencil
PAPER: Arches Satin Finish; since 1492
SIZE: Each Wing is 12 1/4″ x 9 1/8″