I moved recently, first my house, then my studio. I didn't go far, only a few miles south of Philadelphia to Wilmington, Delaware, close enough to keep my friends and my Philly loyalty. Some of the differences, however, are significant. I now live in a park. Well, not quite - in an urban neighborhood that is park-like (full of trees) and with an actual park - many more trees and a river - a few steps away. Nature is a welcome new neighbor and birds are now very present in my life. And what a welcome presence they are!
Our window feeder is a front row seat on the comings and goings, the swoops and darts, the pecking, the little spats, the nibbles and gulps, the busy busy life of birds. Late afternoon, especially, is an amazing rush of feathers and calls, all blurred activity and twittering song.
The birds have made a nest in my art too. The first series in my new studio is this flurry of bird life. As always with me, it starts with drawing, here a quick sketchy capture of shape and movement. The ink is water soluble, and I'm pairing it with water soluble colored pencil, a favorite medium that I've used in the past. I'm a great believer in art making as a conversation, letting the medium or tool have a say. With my birds, this approach allows them be a bit wild, untamed, even a little savage. My control only goes so far - I love the freshness of the ink and color as each creature springs to life under my wet brush. Knowing when and how to stop, how best to let the spirit run free, to keep it fresh, even a little messy, is the most important job.
Some of my Ink Birds will be found in a birding guide, but not all - some are pure spirit. But this one, this male cardinal, is a frequent guest at our window feeder. His mate, with her beautiful tawny color and orange beak comes too. They live in a cedar tree behind our house. Sometimes she's shy, so he will pick up food from the feeder and take it to her, feeding her himself. What a guy! As spring moves towards summer we're seeing more takers at our window - the latest is a big blue jay who lands with a thump each time, scaring the many house finches. Keep an eye on my website for more Ink Birds - the sky's the limit (ha ha)
Ink Birds is a series of small paintings. I'm offering them as Note Card sets - single designs and mixed - and am also offering a selection of the originals matted and framed (8 x 10 framed size) Ink Birds are not available as prints. Click here to see the Ink Birds page
Artist/Designer/Illustrator - Drawing is my way to see and think about life in all its dimensions, color, meanings, and pleasures