🦚 Most often in my abstract work, images come through my imagination rather than from observation. Appearing as if in a dream, my subjects are symbolic and require a bit of knowledge, either held or sought, to decode the meaning. In this panel, I immediately saw a bird – a peacock – fluid and fanciful feathers. The colors evolved from monochromatic yellow to this decidedly feminine palette of pretty pastels.
🦚 Colloquially, both male and female peafowl are called “peacocks”. But as I read about peafowl, I learned that the male is the only one to have brightly colored feathers. He even sheds and regrows them, each time longer and fuller! The peahen (female) has muted cream and brown coloring and lacks the iconic tailfeather display of her mate. The brilliant display of the male contrasts with the muted, softer, camouflaging plumes of the female.
🦚 Both male and female peafowl feature a flamboyant, standout crown atop their heads known as the crest. It’s more than adornment, it’s a sensor, too. When the male fans out his trademark tailfeathers, he also shakes them at the high speed of 26 times per second creating a rattling noise. The watching peahen’s crest feathers are tuned to vibrate at the exact frequencies at which the male rattles his tail. The peahen doesn’t just see his spectacularly ostentatious tailfeather display, she also feels its vibration in her crest. Although this feature is often overshadowed, I found the crest to be an intriguing, remarkable, and praiseworthy creation in both form and function!
🦚 Peacocks have come to symbolize a plethora of traits across cultures, awareness, versatility, metamorphosis, glamour, luxury, protection, renewal, beauty, royalty, dignity, power, strength, confidence, and even divinity. In the old testament, the peacock is said to symbolize the glory and majesty of God, as well as the promise of eternal life and resurrection. In the New Testament, the peacock reportedly represents the heavenly beauty of the risen Christ and the power of His victory over death.