Reflection Study #4
These feathers are brown, right? The brown colors are made in these two feathers in two ways. The shiny part is built into the surface of the feathers as structural lines that reflect light back to your eyes depending on your angle a view. The rest of the brown is from a familiar pigment, melanin. It is the same stuff in feathers that makes human skin many interesting colors. All of the turkey feathers I use are colored by this pigment, melanin. It is what makes the browns, russet reds, yellow browns, greys, and blacks, making different varieties of turkey feathers distinctively colored and patterned.
Note: The feathers Maynard uses are from private aviaries and zoos. When birds shed or discard their feathers every year, he recycles them in his art. Most feathers used are from birds not native to North America—even the crow feathers. The exception to using feathers from North America are those from turkeys and grouse. All feathers used in Maynard’s artwork are legal to have and sell.