Why would a chair need wings?

When an idea comes at you from the great beyond, you should probably listen to it.  Unless however you are a sociopathic misfit with murder on your mind, then by all means don’t you be listening to those voices!!  But for an artist, true inspiration is a cool thing, so here I am following up on the Winged Chair idea.  Once I had finished the first wing, the second one posed a slight problem.

Wing One is done but for the embellishments.

Wing One is done but for the embellishments.

I took some time to ponder how to cut the fabric feathers so wing two would be an identical mirror image.  I wasn’t concerned about perfect… it just had to look like a mirror image.  Nothing in nature is absolutely perfectly symmetrical.  I solved this small problem by laying out tracing paper, tracing the shapes, then flipping over the paper onto the second wing.  I could then cut out similar feather shapes and push them into place by using the traced paper as a guideline.

Tracing the feathers.

Tracing the feathers.

Lots of gluing, cutting, sticking and various active verbs took over and before I knew it, we were at the point of  “almost done”.  I took some time off for good behavior and other soul searching activities before returning to the studio where the wings awaited my finishing touches.

The columbines are blooming!

The columbines are blooming!

I pretty much solved all the issues, but still faced a couple of decisions.  So, to play with some ideas, I cut out extra feathers and applied paint and other embellishments to try them on for size.  I have a whole lot of metallic paints that I like to get out and wish I could find a use for, so those were employed in the search for how much is too much?

Gold paints, blue metallic inks and a desire to bling it out!!

Gold paints, blue metallic inks and a desire to bling it out!!

Oh yeah!  Liking the blue ink.

Oh yeah! Liking the blue ink.

Next on the agenda was the chair itself.  Painted or not painted?  Hmmmm.

Chair as is.  Too ordinary.

Chair as is. Too ordinary.


The chair itself was pretty paint splotched and gummed up, so I got into a little scraping and sanding before the final paint job.  I painted the back of the wings silver and after they dried, I used a couple of clamps to try on the wings and help me decide if painting the chair was where I wanted to go next.



Chair seems to disappear into the wings.

Chair seems to disappear into the wings.

I resumed sanding since the chair still looked like a Goodwill find.  Which it was, but now it is art!  As I was slogging through the doldrums of the creative process I began to think about what my answer to the big question would be.  Why would a chair need wings?

Wings are for flying.  If you are a bird or a plane.  They are for swimming if you are a penguin.  But chairs don’t swim… unless they are on a boat.  By that logic, they don’t fly, unless they are on a plane.  Since these are obviously imaginative wings,  they must be for your imagination!  If you are sitting in a chair and need to escape, but also need to remain seated, your imagination is the thing that is going to fly you the hell out of there.

Which takes me back to grade school.  I used to be a good little student.  And then I wasn’t.  I was always the youngest in the class as my birthday was late in the year and in those days,  they let your parents enroll you in kindergarten if you were going to turn 5 before the Christmas holiday.  As a teacher and a parent, I can’t imagine my 4 year old going off to school, real school… but there I was,  a half year behind my peers at best, a year or more behind them at the worst.  At some point it all caught up to me and when I wasn’t developmentally able to understand certain concepts because of my age, I fell behind.

I don’t recall caring much about my slipping GPA, instead my mind took me other places and I day dreamed my way through 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. There were years where my report card stated unequivocally that I’d be a better student if I wasn’t daydreaming all the time. But I didn’t see it that way.  Day dreaming was a good use of my time if I couldn’t understand why 3 from 5 was 2.  Wasn’t 3 from 5… uh, 3?  I actually used to think that the little shaded box at the end of the equation held the answer to the problem.  All you had to do was count the shaded lines.  That’s how far away I was from the concept of subtraction.  It is here I most likely developed a curious belief that I couldn’t do math.

I think that’s probably the time I needed a chair with wings in my life.  Because I sure as hell was sitting in one whether you could see it or not.

A Winged Chair can transport you to another planet, another dimension, another body.  If you needed a fantasy escape, a winged chair could take you there.  I may have to use it to post blogs… we’ll see if the actual manifestation of the concept ( ideas taking flight) will elevate the activity of tapping keys on a laptop into something amazing.

I’ll let you know how it all works out.  But for now… here is where we stand.  Or sit.  It’s something grander than an old school chair that’s for sure!

Winged Chair 54" x 62" Mixed Medium: wood, paint, fabric.

Winged Chair
54″ x 62″
Mixed Medium: wood, paint, fabric.


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