3 Birds

A modified toucan, gannet and flamingo, Egyptian-style. Acrylic on canvasboard 18″x24″

We spent a month in Egypt in 1982, Israel had just handed back the Sinai so peace had broken out over the Middle East, just for that moment at least. I promised Liz, having dragged her into every museum in Europe, that I wasn’t interested in 2 dimensional stick figure art – oops. All those pictures and reliefs telling ancient stories, plus the statues – especially a small black-stone goddess statue at Luxor, simple and perfect, the same Wow effect as the Taj Mahal had for me. However, my favourite moment was peeking behind a screen at a museum in a tinpot town somewhere half way up the Nile to find a mummy with its face partially unwrapped. I was contemplating the dead person’s life, mortality and all that deep stuff when suddenly, a mouse jumped out of the mummy’s eye-socket and ran around its face. Woof! Lucky I had no heart problems at that age.

I started this pic in about 1995, one of my first paintings. It got finished in about 2015, after reworking it every 4-5 years. It comes with a companion penguin looking back at them – the 3 birds ask, “What do you call a penguin in the Sahara”, the penguin replies “Lost!”.

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