city

Falcons of the world: Madagascar Kestrel

This small and mighty falcon is about the same size as the American kestrel. It’s endemic to Madagascar and the atoll of Aldabra.
It prefers open country to forest, and has benefitted from deforestation, nesting under the eaves of homes in populated areas.
They usually still hunt from a perch. While they will take mice and small birds, insects comprise 75% of their diet.

Thank you for looking at and learning about these wonderful birds with me.

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Falco peregrinus. (Again probably).

I cracked open a can of cola and laid out the paints I would need. As well as several books opened to pages with peregrines on them. To double check the colors I imagined.
I always start these with some idea but a lot of it I figure out on my way through it. Still learning how to best translate from pencil to paint.
f1
When I got to the wings I looked for blue….I found some in my paint box.
f2
The body through me for a loop, and I sat staring at it for a good bit. In the background I could hear the soundtrack of a movie I was half watching. Somebody was laughing.
f3
A glance to the window and I knew where to go. Like driving in the night and checking the map under a streetlight. (I guess now everybody looks at their phone).
I brought back the smallest brush and approached like it was my micron pen. With the precision of a drunk surgeon with a rusty scalpel.
I like paper maps.
falconfinal
Got it sorted well enough.
No simple highway.

Some folks trust to reason, others trust to might…

Sitting up here in this tree I can see a distance.
From leaving Illinois, to that feeling of being lost and not being looked for.
From stringing her along, to closing the door.
From her lake in northern Michigan, to the western coast I call home.
It seems often that we get lost in the day to day and can forget what moves it all.
I find the easiest way for me to connect to that is to sit on my chair and draw birds.
While I do that I feel I can review my wrongs, and appraise my truths in a manner most fitting for a boy with my middle name.
I'm a big fan of the non-photo blue pencils. I go a bit heavier with them than I need to but I enjoy seeing it through the graphite latter on in the night.

I’m a big fan of the non-photo blue pencils. I go a bit heavier with them than I need to but I enjoy seeing it through the graphite latter on in the night.

And like a desert mirage brought to my bedroom it comes to life before my eyes. and now yours thanks to this series of tubes we call the internet.

And like a desert mirage brought to my bedroom it comes to life before my eyes. And now yours thanks to this series of tubes we call the internet.

So again thank you for taking a look at the world from my tree top.

So again thank you for taking a look at the world from my tree top.

Winds welcomed me to the East Bay

Learning the whole big city thing. I enjoy it more than I expected I would.
Slowly unpacking boxes and hanging posters in the new room. I’ve done a few watercolors since I’ve been here, but I felt it was time for a big sheet of 1/8″ plywood and a large scale project. Sort of my own personal housewarming gift/activity.
I’ve been keeping my truck one town over where there’s better parking options so I walked the mile and a half to the lumber yard. I got a great piece of Mahogany 1/8″ plywood for $10.
It turns out 7X3 foot sheets are easier to carry in my mind than real life. While I walked the blocks back home through Oakland the wind would catch me like a sail and try and throw me into traffic.
I found the whole thing with laughter in my eyes. To walk home with a page so large I almost flew away.
I cut a section off, 3X2 feet for this first Hawk. The remaining larger piece I will start the pencil work for this week.

Bound to cover just a little more ground

The chair and desk I’ve drawn you all these birds at is getting packed into the back of my truck. In just a few days I’m heading north on 101 to a city by the bay. The idea of which fills my head and heart with a thousand emotions.

I can’t see the future. Not even with all the fortune cookies I’ve had over the years, but I predict if you will: This move will send ripples through my artwork. “Positive Vibrations” to quote a Rastafarian I heard singing on a record player once.

I guess though, like everything else in life, we’ll just have to wait and see.

The uncertainty is the fuel for my hearts fire and I throw my hat over the wall and climb to go fetch it.

Thank you for your continued support (letting me waste your time with crudely drawn birds and Grateful Dead quotes).

 

One of the last few sketches put down here in these four walls. Between packing boxes and filling out paperwork I made good time for another Owl friend.

One of the last few sketches put down here in these four walls. Between packing boxes and filling out paperwork I made good time for another Owl friend.

If I knew the way…

I would take you home.

The other day I heard a friend of mine was having some health problems. I said a prayer in my head as I set out on my bicycle to admire the beautiful piece of the planet I inhabit. As I thought of this good for my friend a Red-shouldered Hawk flew right over my head from a tree behind me. Moments later I came across another tree with a pair of Red-shouldered hawks looking down to me on my bicycle. The smile that brought fueled me further and moments later I was face to face with another Red Hawk. I’m not here to preach to you about anything other than the good that is the natural kingdom, but I will say those hawks brought me good hope on their wings. An experience well timed, I am grateful for. Whatever unfolds down the line from here I am forever grateful to be here to draw birds for you on our planet Earth. If that’s all I’ll do then that’s the best I’ll do.

Thank you.

Watercolor and pen on paper.

Watercolor and pen on paper.

Acrylic paint on plywood.

Acrylic paint on plywood.