Putting together the third of a four panel collection. Falcons of North America. Already completed are the Kestrel and Prairie Falcon.
Almost 25% of my goal. Since April 2015.
I had a delightful afternoon of painting owls and laughing at my own jokes.
My jokes, like when I put the Nashville and the Tennessee Warblers on the same page, this map was begging for the largest owl of each region…..right?
I’ve had this one on my mind for a while. Until recently I never saw on the page what I did in my mind.
With the help of field time, some great literature, a stack of sketchbooks, and zero social life, I have found a foot hold on the uphill battle that I call owl portraits.
With out a doubt, my favorite part of mountain biking is the access it grants me to the areas around. In this case California’s central coast.
I do my best thinking with my feet off the pavement. These day trips help me put together thoughts and drawings on the page as well as sort a plan to be the best person I can.
Though a raptor book isn’t a bad idea either. I’ve got this great spot I’ve been going to with my bike to ride some little jumps. There’s usually a large hawk around, its a perfect meadow for mice and that sort so there’s plenty of food to go around. No hawk today but a small bunch of finches where hanging around.
Birding and bikes have gone hand in hand with me since i can recall. I don’t go out my front door with a list in hand of birds to see. Rather I just open my eyes to whichever show up. There are birds all around us that frequently get over looked. Today at the jumps it was finches, yesterday a hawk. Some nights on my way to get groceries I see the neighborhood Barn Owl.
I have no expectations of the natural world to “show me something”. It just happens when it does, and it makes me grateful. that’s how seeing a Red-tail on a high tension line can be the same as hearing a song I love to hear, or a poem I love to read.
The choice for documenting with illustrations comes from my love of the books. A bird book feels a poetry book. Like a book of poetry that Richard Brautigan would have written. Inside the photographs take me places and illustrations show me light.
My connection to birds goes back farther than I can remember. My Mother tells me I had an imaginary friend bird named Gus as a little kid. My Grandfather always had bird feeders in his yard and a bird guide on the inside table. My father keeps binoculars hanging on the lamp by the window and dozens of feeders kept full. My Uncle was a carver and illustrator who loved the natural world and carved many birds, and animals.
No doubt there’s a big nest of birds in my family tree.
Maybe when I see a hawk or song bird it seems all my relations come to be right there in my presence and the gratitude I feel makes me smile. Or maybe I’m just glad to play a roll in this ecosystem we call our solar system. vast and great.
All I know is as long as I’m able to, Ill draw them for you.
Laugh in the sunshine,
cry in the dark,
fly through the night.