Maxfield Front
Maxfield - mixed media and fiber art bird sculpture by Michele Tway
Maxfield Facing Left
Maxfield, fiber art and mixed media sculpture by Michele Tway
Maxfield Facing Right
Maxfield, mixed media bird sculpture by Michele Tway
Maxfield, shown alongside one of the most famous works of his namesake, Maxfield Parrish.
Maxfield, a mixed media bird sculpture by Michele Tway named in honor of the artist Maxfield Parrish; known for his beautiful use of blue in his paintings.
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What’s in a Name?

Sometimes, it feels like it takes almost as long to name each of my birds as it does to make them. For this piece, I knew I wanted a name associated somehow with the color blue. But, merely naming him for a particular shade of blue didn’t feel right. Rather than being that literal about it, I thought, perhaps I could pay homage to another artist who was famous for his use of blue.

I immediately thought of Picasso’s blue period of work but, couldn’t bring myself to name one of my birds after such a solemn and melancholy body of work – no matter how beautiful it may be. Then I remembered, well OK, Google and Wikipedia helped a bit; Parrish blue. Parrish Blue is named for the American painter Maxfield Parrish. Parrish blue is a pretty cobalt blue reminiscent of the blues often found in his skyscapes.

While I am not a native of Pennsylvania, like Parrish was, I was living there when I first learned how to crochet and began my life-long love of the art form. With his association to the color blue and our common artistic birthplace, it seemed meant to be that my big, strong, blue bird should therefore be named Maxfield.

His work, Ecstasy (1929) was used to promote General Electric Mazda lightbulbs (yes, the name we now associate with automobiles was once used for lightbulbs). Both were named for Ahura Mazda, the god of harmony, intelligence and wisdom. Parrish’s daughter, Jean was the model for Ecstasy.

About Maxfield, the bird sculpture

Maxfield’s beak is entirely hand embroidered as are his beaded eyes. Much of the yarn, used on Maxfield, was hand-dyed and from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns; when she was still working with cottons. – all the more reason, I knew my big blue bird had to named after an artist. Her delightful cotton yarns were combined with a number of other yarns that were recycled, re-homed and repurposed to create his free form crochet, form-fitting coat.

Size: 9.25 x 5.25 x 5.5

Maxfield will be on display from April 5, 2024 until April 27, 2024 at the Arts & Culture Alliance of Knoxville, TN as part of the GoFigure: Exploring Three-Dimensional Figurative Art exhibition; where he is available for sale and shipping is available.