Artwork Feature: Bald Eagles 'Keeping Watch'

I was inspired to create this 3D paper sculpture of an eagle after my visit to Conowingo Dam in Darlington, Maryland, last November. In the fall, it is one of the best places to watch bald eagles as they glide through the air and then swoop down to catch a fish from the Susquehanna River below. Without hesitation, the eagle grabs its dinner before soaring back up into the sky, eventually resting in the trees, eating their catch — unless their dinner was snatched up by one of the other eagles soaring by.

There were so many other photographers lined up along the fence at the dam that day waiting to take photos as the eagles flew overhead. As soon as someone would spot one of the birds of prey, they would call out, “left” or right” to signal which side the eagle took off so you could start shooting your camera in the right direction. Immediately, you would hear the continuous clicking sounds of the shutters going off, as the photographers spun around in a circular pattern following the flight of the eagle, trying not to become dizzy as they got their best shot of this powerful bird.

It is an amazing site to see so many eagles at one location and to be able to watch their behavior. I couldn’t help but create two paper sculpture eagles that were featured at two miniature art shows — the juried 25th Annual International Miniature Show at Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, Washington, and the 26th International Miniature Art Show at Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head, North Carolina.

Like all of my paper sculpture designs, the eagle below, titled “Keeping Watch,” is all made from paper. Each feather is individually hand-cut out of white paper, shaped and glued together to form the eagle. Even the talons are made from paper. After the eagle is formed, it is then painted in watercolor and gouache. The paper sculpture eagle is framed in a wooden shadowbox picture frame.