Going where the wind don’t blow so strange…

I went out for another adventure on two wheels this week. 23.6 miles of highway, gravel roads, and dirt/rock single track. Pedaling down the railroad tracks on my way home I met this great bird. Watching me with suspicion as I fumbled about for my camera.

I imagined a conversation between us as I tried to get a worthwhile shot with an ill-suited camera.

“You’re not from California are you?”

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“No I would reply, adding, I’m from Illinois, and I’d take a picture or three of an Illinois Hawk to so, that’s not a fair point”.

The Hawk flew away after I had snapped a few pictures and wasted the moment thinking about talking birds on telephone wires….again.

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Getting by with a little help from my friends.

I’d been keeping all these in a big plastic box because I was too lazy to make mounts for them. I’d usually get as far as calling the piece done, snap a picture and add it to the pile. A good friend stopped by the other day to see some of my works. She suggested the plastic box might not be the best place for these birds. She recommended some good wall mounting options. Thus lighting the fire under me to get them truly finished.

Now that they’re up, I can’t imagine why I didn’t finish the wall mounts for them sooner. It was a great excuse to go to the hardware store.

I am very grateful to have the inspiring and supportive friends and family that I do….and a hardware store down the tracks from my house.

And a Thank You to whomever has squandered a perfectly good minute reading my words and looking at my birds.

Another one for the Grateful Dead.

One of my favorite teachers.
The first study, to figure if I could even spell the word Grateful with pen drawn feathers.

The first study, to figure if I could even spell the word Grateful with pen drawn feathers.

Reminding me to go searching for the sound. To chase after the ever elusive muse.

The pen study.

The pen study.

To not be afraid to fail, or fall flat on my face.
The pencil hawk laid out with the letters and all.

The pencil hawk laid out with the letters and all.

To find the beauty in tragedy, and the strength to continue through.

The bird as it flies from out of the gates of my imagination.

The bird as it flies from out of the gates of my imagination.

To laugh my past away, and to make it one more day.

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If I could, I’d give you the world in its own wings.

In July I had completed my first large (2’x4′) hawk drawing on plywood when it occurred to me, I could put words into the wings. The question I had was, what words?
It seemed Two words would be the best place to start. A word for each wing. Ok that was easy enough, but which two words?
So I thought it over for a few months. It got pushed to the back burner for a while.
Other interesting projects came and went across my drawing desk.
A recent voyage across the United States, took me from California, to Denver, to the prairies of northern Illinois.
I met my newborn Nephew, and forged many great new connections. I also connected with the roots from which I grew.
I was standing on the East bank of the Fox River, when the proper two words found me.
I didn’t bother to write them down, Instead with my mind I put them in my back pocket. Because I knew since they had arisen, they would never leave, or fall out of my pocket.
So I took the two words home with me back to California, where I put them into a hawks wings and let it go back into the world.
Thank you for the opportunity to share this with you. It absolutely means the world to me.

No poems, only birds. My classic contradiction.

Sitting at my desk after work tonight. I reckon I could write you a poem, or something of that sort. But I’ll hold onto any words I have in that nature for a day or so. Trying like I do with a pen drawing. Before I begin with the pen work I let the drawing sit in pencil and examine it for a few days. Each time noticing things I hadn’t before.
I like doing that with words too. This helps me find their power or something like that.
 
I finished another large flying hawk. The layout of these drawings is simple but holds lots of texture. I feel good about this approach and would like to now put these birds into other positions in the natural kingdom. No easy task, but tonight’s pencil studies show promise I feel.
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The most recently finished of my 2’x4′ hawks on plywood.

It was her again, but it was all right.

She promised me poetry on my grave.
Or at the very least, to try and behave.
 
And as she stood there in the rain she made good.
I write my own poetry on a piece of wood.
 
Time yet not for a bed of dirt.
her words only echo they do not hurt.
 
Sifting through these ashes I found the words,
Bringing to page the largest of birds.
 
In my noblest of efforts to think ahead of my pen.
My thoughts drift back to her again.

When the last bolt of sunshine hits the mountain…

The other night while I was climbing around under my bed. I found an old cassette tape and against my better judgment I listened to the song that was going through her head, while she tossed and turned and lay awake in bed. The next day we said our goodbyes.
 
I am halfway through my 6th plywood raptor in flight drawing. Adding clear coats to the others to keep them safe from the elements and protect the drawings from when I inevitably drop them all somewhere foolish. If I was a bank robber my nickname would be “Clown-Shoes”
 
I forgot to write the words down when I woke up so they became forgotten.
His always seem to work for me though.
 
“And there’s nothing left to do but count the years
When the strings of my heart start to sever
And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears” -Robert Hunter

Ain’t it just like the night…

We create and destroy. I walked to the bookstore at dusk. Everybody I passed had their eyes on a screen. Disconnected. It brought me back to an afternoon.

She was putting her coat on in the hallway, annoyed by something but no intent to share with me what was the root. It was February and snowing. I didn’t speak a word and she walked out every door.  All I could do was turn the blinds.

Tonight walking home from the bookstore, my eyes trapped by the pages of the book I had found. A series of photographs of Barn Owls, I walked right into a telephone pole. Hard enough to drop the book and laugh out loud. I hope somebody saw that and got a laugh too. We owe the earth that much maybe. To drop your book to the ground and laugh.

I’ve been laying out more drawings on 1/8″ craft plywood. A Red-shouldered Hawk and a Zone-tailed Hawk.

Not new subject species here but a real fine thing to put to page so why on earth or sky not?

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Afternoon dust and a crow’s personal opinion.

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Watching hawks at the dirtjumps by the railroad tracks. A great deal of beauty flying over my head. A group of crows in the scrub brush near by exclaim their disapproval of what I see as a flying painting. There will always be that bird that disagrees with you it seems.

When the sun sets I head inside and sit at the desk. look onto the page and develop the film from my memories right there in my own darkroom with lights on bright.