Imogen Clark, the artist behind DustySoulsArt, is a master of intricacy, providing breathtaking works. Telling her own story, Clark, known as “the feather lady,” started painting feathers, not just paining on feathers, truly painting them, in 2013. It’s a skill that she acquired through admitted “patience, much practice, and understanding of birds.” I don’t think that means that she coaxes the birds into taloning over a feather, rather the understanding of the character of feathers of different types of birds and how it impacts the process of painting them. In her selection of favorite paintings of 2018, five years after beginning the practice, Clark specifies the type of bird the feather comes from allowing the viewer to have illustrated for them, how the bird type effects and fits into the final piece.
The scenes depicted on the feathers are stunning, hold your breath levels of immaculate. Many of these are scenes of animals in nature, like the first piece, Fox On Turkey feather. A gorgeous, colorfully vibrant orange fox, natural predator of fowl, stares up, maybe sniffing the air for prey, while standing on the ground built by the texture of the turkey’s feather. It’s glossy mixture of browns and whites, the fibers in the feather appearing like snow covered blades of grass mixed with rippled swaths of mud. It’s incredibly detailed and full despite using only a feather as the canvas. Most of the other pieces on Clark’s list follow this template, an animal on a feather with the color of the feather heavily influencing the overall palette of the painting itself, magnificent. There are also a couple of jewelry pieces (she has an Etsy store, DarkSoulsArt) that incorporate the feather paintings.
The big standout and my favorite piece is Mother and Child on Peacock. The main reason I love this piece is just how unexpected it is. When you hear peacock you think of peacocking, vibrant, colorful, over the top and in your face. Surprisingly, this peacock feather painting is perhaps the most understated piece on the whole list. The feather is one of the bird’s black ones. The accompanying scene is appropriately and stirringly painted in black and white. The mother and child feel locked in time, stark, eternally beautiful. It’s powerfully cold and warm simultaneously. All of Imogen Clark’s paintings on this list are stirring in some sense or another. Perfect combination of talent and choice. Well worth looking up and maybe swinging by that storefront.