Putting together the third of a four panel collection. Falcons of North America. Already completed are the Kestrel and Prairie Falcon.
The Great Gray Owl sits on a special shelf of birds in the storage closet of my heart.
Their commanding presence and piercing eyes.
I also enjoy their Latin name Strix nebulosa. It reminds me of the nickname my sister gave me, Nebula.
So today I talked to my sister on the phone, and put a Gray in a nebula of my own.
This fall I started a series of raptor paintings.
I broke them into groups. Tonight I finished the first group. Six buteos common to North America.
I learned a lot about the birds while working on these. Taking weekend trips to Hawk Hill in Marin, Ca. to watch the fall raptor migration. Aided by the great people at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, I learned how to better distinguish these birds in flight. And spending hours looking at photographs and painting color studies, I improved my technique for laying them out in a suitable fashion on the page. I’m excited to learn so much more.
A labor of love for learning about these amazing creatures and sharing their wonder with those around me.
With these last few raptor paintings I have slowed myself down a lot. Putting additional hours into smaller details than I had before. I have enjoyed taking as much time as I can, it has yielded a new quality and depth.
But honestly I am just glad to be sitting on a chair in California drawing birds and I want to draw those moments out as long as I can (no pun intended).
Thank you for having me here to document your birds Earth. And thank you for stopping by to read my nonsense.
Between the branches they come around one after another.
I watched their tiny circus act till my eyelids were too heavy to hold up.
My concrete bridges over Fox river eyes.
The first making its mark on the hood of my truck, awakening me with a start.
Only to end in laughter when I saw the guilty parties scurry away.
Some good days begin with laughter.
They take me to a golden sienna morning either long ago or that maybe never happened.
The lyrics in your eyes beckon a smile from under the rock pile that is my days since you left.
It’s different here now. I wouldn’t know how to explain it. Though if I had the chance to talk, I could think of better things to discuss.
I took a trip to visit with my family in Michigan. It was fantastic to connect with them and the peaceful place that is Northern Michigan.
While waiting I went through the pockets of my coat. I hadn’t worn it in years. (There isn’t need for such a coat here in the East Bay).
“Goodness gracious it’s alright”.
And I agreed and climbed back out of the freezer and returned the ice cube trays to their proper place. As well as the frozen peas.
She called me on the phone to tell me about children’s puzzles.
Connect the dots and word searches till dawn.
I called her back to convey the illustrations necessary for the book she planned to write.
The editor sent back my drawings with red pen marks in the margins.
A usual sight when seated next to me in the car with shaky wheels like my life here on the west coast.
No matter its criticism taken in my usual cool mannered stride.
See it through to next week and no matter with the rest.
She sits back down at the piano and I at the drawing table ours one in the same.
Bring it all right back home
In the pouring rain.
We cooked hotdogs on the coals of the bridge we lit up the night before. I ain’t much for ballpark franks but that was a beautiful morning.
It was my turn to go fetch the water from the river. And I did so with a smile. Laughing about the absurdity of the year.
The sun sat golden in the branches like a glowing vulture feasting on dawn.
I don’t know what else I can tell you about that day. It was good.