Forever Free

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Forever Free
41 in
32 in
(104 cm x 81 cm)
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Mel, a dark-morph red-tailed hawk, was hit by a car. Rescued by the Raptor Center at the Nature and Wildlife Discovery Center in Pueblo, Colorado, she was nursed back to health. She had brain damage that affected her balance, so she could not return to the wild. Then, she got cancer. We met Mel when a volunteer was walking her in the sunshine as a break from the ICU. She posed for a portrait that I have long wanted to recreate. She died about a year later.

Creating Forever Free was the perfect opportunity to try new materials and texture techniques. I wanted her feathers to be free to move rather than staying flat against the background. Remembering the life and strength in her eye, I wanted to set her free. Now, in the blue Colorado sky, she is forever free.
Non-woven heat-activated fabric, non-woven polyester/nylon microfiber paper, acrylic fabric paint, silk fusion fabric, commercial cotton, ribbon
Thread painted, molded, machine cut, fused, couched, free motion quilted