This bronze wildlife sculpture was inspired by a winter day spent wandering along the Texas gulf coast with my mother (then a “snowbird”) on St. Joseph’s Island. We spent the day soaking up the sunshine, listening to gulls call overhead while gathering shells and examining crab claws and sea turtle bones, and other wonderful ocean treasures. As a wildlife artist, the seashore – with its wealth of textures, beautiful colors, and rare glimpses of the mysterious exquisite creatures they come from – is always a treasure hunt for me.
After that Texas visit, I moved on across the coast to Florida. All along the Gulf Coast, I watched the winter flocks of Royal Terns standing with their faces to the wind, resting and keeping watch over their portions of the beach, always on the alert for potential predators and problems. This piece began to form in my mind – a study of both the toughness required by this environment, yet also the extreme fragility of all life. Nature and nurture, this sculpture demonstrates how all creatures are interconnected, from both the past and the present, for continued survival on this planet. All this, mixed with my mother’s nurturing and things we both loved – the sounds of bird calls and waves, gentle winds off the water, warm sand underfoot, the brilliant blues of sea and sky, the unending search for shells and other treasures – they all became part of this piece. Days well spent.
My mother is gone now, but the values she taught me about what is important in life, continue to live on and feed my soul.
“Head Wind” – Royal Tern (previously titled “Ocean Treasures”), was selected for the 2009 “Art of the Animal Kingdom XIV”, at the Bennington Center For The Arts, Bennington, Vermont, as well as the 2009 American Women Artists annual Competition Show in Easton, Maryland.
To see this sculpture in a different patina, click here.