This is Notch – I think she may be a first time mother. She has at least 2 babies so she got bold enough to come up to the deck. It seems they get hungry about this time of year. I also see them in the deep winter when the snow is thick. Otherwise, they only visit at night. How do I know? My tomatoes growing on my second story deck keep disappearing.
Bunnies are everywhere. It is so fun to watch the siblings chasing and hopping over each other.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak’s have been plentiful this season. I have my own photos, but a friend, Steve Bradley, took one of a male that truly inspired me. I used his photo for my painting and one of my own for the female.
First I practiced drawing them since their big old beaks were a new shape for me.
Then I tried the male on my Mom’s Mother’s Day card/letter. I decided I liked that so well, I did the couple in my nature journal (the first image above.)
I watched a Cooper’s Hawk wrestle with a huge stick that had a smaller one hooked to it. When he finally got them untangled, he ended up with the short stick and appeared quite disgruntled about it. He tossed it down and left, at that point, and went up into the tree and started wrestling with another branch. It was very entertaining.
Blue Jay in the Snow
Perpetual Nature Journal
I have begun a perpetual nature journal. However, I am an IT consultant and this week I was switched from many years working from a home office to 5 days smack in the middle of downtown Indy. What an adjustment. So this will curtail the amount of nature I am observing, but I still have the weekend bird count for Cornell University. Feeder birds may be the main pics until I can get out on a weekend.
Inktober 2018 Week 1
Inktober 2018 started out with a bang that has continued to reverberate on the Facebook page for these past weeks – controversy over what words really mean. The very first word was “poisonous”. We saw a lot of drawings of snakes, which are venomous, but not, technically, poisonous – so I commemorated the heated discussions that arose with my own submission. It was quite funny to watch the conversations on a page of with 40k international followers. Hopefully it was instructive for those willing to learn and they took it in good part.
These are poisonous red mushrooms found here in Indiana – it is my desire to watercolor my inked pieces this winter. I want to do a whole series on Indiana mushrooms.
TRANQUIL – I could not make up my mind on on this prompt – so I did a series of tranquil quick drawings as I played with ideas. This is as far as that went, and it was very enjoyable. I love doing these types of sketches. Good warmups.
ROASTED: Another mushroom – this one is good roasted, I am told. Hen (or Chicken) of the Woods. Again – this will work better when painted. I will probably re-do it and make it bigger. These are beautiful variegated orange mushrooms. I am on an Indiana Mushroom page in Facebook and saw where someone harvested 80lbs of these. It has been a big mushroom year with the warm, humid weather.
SPELL – this one is a favorite. I plan to do a series on State Park and Natural Preserves that we visited this year and especially the paths that lure me into those day long treks. This is the one in Pine Hills going up to the Devil’s Backbone.
CHICKEN – this one ended my first week because I was not worth anything for about 2 days. I went to my first colonoscopy and I had put it off for years, like the chicken that I am. Glad it is over. It seemed appropriate to commemorate that since it landed on the same day as this prompt.
Inktober Week 4
The above image was my favorite for this week. I was trying new things – this was my niece having a hard time of it when she found her daddy’s jeans hanging on the line. It is one of my favorite moments. Faces and emotions are not easy to capture. I vow to work this next year to do better with them.
I have been wanting to take my love of birding, hiking the state parks, and nature photography to the next creative level – nature journaling seemed to be an obvious extension. To break through the paralysis that inevitably happens when it comes to my drawing, I signed up for a class by Jan Blencowe and it has been fabulous. I highly recommend it for beginners, as well as “stuck” veteran artists.
One of the new tools I am learning to use, and quite enjoying, is the extra fine fountain pen that uses platinum carbon ink.