The Bird and the Keys - drawing in black pen by Fox Larsson

The Bird and the Keys — Some Stories Squared

I started this pic back in October. I was home at my mom’s place in Petrozavodsk, a month after grandpa died.

I like keys. I rarely really lock things, but there’s something special and magical about keys. I have a liking for them as objects that are almost abstract, sculptural.

The key in the bird’s side reminds me of the key to my mother’s piano. It’s an old piano made some time around 1918 or 1914. The veneer is not painted, just lacquered. It has shapely turned legs and brass-colored wheels and pedals, and as a child I would spend lots of time under it – listening to my mother playing, the sounds transformed by the magical underspace.

This pic took a long time to draw, and it took me eternity to figure out what I wanted to do with the underside of the feather. White polka dots on black are a long thing to work on too when you’re using paper and pen: you can’t just click and fill a surface like you would in MS Paint. But I love allowing the process to be slow.

I started the pic in October – but I didn’t finish it until April. When it was half done, I lost my brother, and drawing things like this was something I could do for a very long time. I guess, in a way it’s a pic somewhere between loss and loss.

I like the bird. It reminds me of the wind-up tin soviet chickens I used to play with at my great-grandmother’s when I was little. I like the way you can not quite tell whether it’s walking or falling, whether it’s wound up or moving its legs of its own volition. And I wonder why the bird cares about the second key.

What do you see happening here?

The Bird and the Keys - drawing in black pen by Fox Larsson

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