Paper Quilled Blue Jay

December 28, 2017

Paper Quilled Blue Jay

In the realm of art, there exists a sacred space where emotions intertwine with creativity, where heartache can find solace in the strokes of a brush or, in my case, the coils of paper. Today, I unveil a piece of my artwork—a vibrant paper quilled blue jay brought to life from a photograph that I took. As an artist, this creation holds a special place in my journey, capturing a moment in time when grief and art converged in a powerful expression of emotion. Join me as I share the tale behind this quilled blue jay—a tribute to a beloved pet, a testament to the healing power of creativity, and a celebration of the resiliency of the human spirit.

A Photograph That Speaks: Inspiration from a Winning Shot

The spark that ignites a work of art can often come from unexpected places. In my case, it was a photograph—a simple snapshot that captured the striking image of a blue jay. Little did I know that this photograph, taken on a whim, would go on to win a photo contest, capturing the beauty of a bird known for its bold blue plumage and spirited nature. The photograph became more than just an image—it became an inspiration, a visual narrative that whispered to me, urging me to bring it to life through the delicate art of paper quilling.

From Grief to Creation: Nurturing Art Amidst Loss

The creation of the quilled blue jay holds a poignant significance—one that connects art, loss, and the intricate tapestry of human emotions. This piece, along with two others—a quilled oriole and a quilled cardinal—was born from the depths of my heart, in the wake of a profound loss. In December of 2017, my heart dog, Duke, crossed the rainbow bridge, leaving an emptiness that words cannot fully encapsulate. Amidst the grief, I turned to art as a way to process, to heal, and to honor Duke’s memory.

The Art of Resilience: Crafting Through Grief

As I embarked on the journey of bringing the blue jay to life, I found myself navigating a spectrum of emotions. The coils of paper became my palette, allowing me to paint with shapes and colors the feelings that were too complex for words. Each twist and curve carried a piece of my heart’s journey—a tribute to Duke’s spirit, a reflection of my own grief, and a testament to the resilience of the creative process. The act of creating became an act of resilience, a bridge between sorrow and solace.

The Grief Sabbatical: Navigating the Artistic Journey

Creating the quilled blue jay and its companions—the oriole and the cardinal—marked a pivotal moment in my artistic journey. These pieces were a testament to the power of creation as a form of therapy, as a way to process and channel emotions. Yet, after their completion, I found myself needing to take a grief sabbatical—a hiatus that would span two long years. During this time, I grappled with the ebb and flow of my artistic identity, grappling with the question of how to regain the level of excitement that once fueled my creative endeavors.

Healing through Art: Reclaiming the Joy of Creation

The path to healing is often nonlinear—a journey marked by twists, turns, and moments of self-discovery. In my case, it was the gradual return to art that allowed me to rediscover the joy of creation. As time passed, the creative spark began to flicker once more, and I found myself reconnecting with my artistic self. While the level of excitement may never fully match what it was before Duke’s passing, I came to realize that art had become an anchor, a source of comfort, and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Paper Quilled Blue Jay
Paper Quilled Blue Jay