I had large skylights over my studio at the Institute, and I would get downtown early in the morning to take full advantage of the natural light. Oil paint comes alive under filtered daylight. Cold winters and darkness were long in Chicago. When light left my downtown studio, I would pack up to train home. I still had some time at night to work so I started creating 3 dimensional figures. I had been collecting tree branches for some time in my apartment and started assembling characters according to what gesture the branches suggested. I added objects to my figures by carving wood and molding clay. I would also layer tiny mosaics of painted rice papers to create a vellum-like "fabric" to make structures such as wings. Many of my first inventions referred to the Greek & Roman myths (still some of my favorite stories). For the most part, these are detailed and intimate works, created in the quiet nights of my home studio—an interlude before the noisy day started.
Here are Birdman, Hermes (back), Hermes (detail of front head), Daedalus, and Icarus. These photos are old but my only record of them. Only Daedalus is still in my possession.