As a child, I’d lie in bed and listen to birds sing their early morning songs outside my window. We lived just inside the northern city limits, where there were lawns and open lots and good nesting places for the sparrows and starlings, pigeons and doves, catbirds and cardinals, robins and bluebirds and crows and the many other birds who shared our neighborhood. We had a parakeet for awhile. And at Eastertime, we were allowed to have chicks and ducks to raise in our backyard.

One year, a baby chick with a unique personality, Junior, became my special pet. He grew into a very handsome, white-feathered rooster with bright red comb and wattles. I loved Junior. Birds have a large presence in my artwork, in large part due to Junior.