Friday, May 21, 2010

Alex the parrot

I've been thinking for a while of making a picture of Alex the parrot, now I'm cooking what might be the right idea.

This is a slightly anthropomorphic version of him, with hands, bird-like backward knees, and a body shape similar to that of the owl from Harvest Moon. He is in the lab sitting upon a perch, in front of one of the magnetic boards he used in exercises with letters and numbers, but this time he is ready to actually write (with one of his own tail feathers). Other objects are a bird cage (top left) and a studio lamp (the top right things are the arm and the lampshade):

The plush lion is there for a reason: the picture is modeled after icons of Saint Jerome, the patron of translators and writers and translator of one of the most important editions of the Bible who was often portrayed with a lion. I think the role this parrot has had in improving the communication between humans and animals is worth being remembered among the highest and most important.

By a lucky accident the color red is also associated with Saint Jerome - and there is even a picture where the Saint appears with an African gray parrot like Alex:

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