This dark fellow was drawn last week using the back of another scrap of brittle old wallpaper. Sometimes when I sit down I put all my attention into one drawing and other nights a few come out rapidly in succession. This was drawn in about a minute after finishing the larger patterned wallpaper bird. I like both for different reasons.
Yesterday Gayla and I had a rewarding day doing gardening and garden-related errands. As the weather did its current norm — leap-frogging between glorious and tragic — we cut into soil, positioned and repositioned rocks, added and moved plants, decided then undecided, and generally experimented.
This is the season you can do that sort of thing. We stood up on our porch and eventually went upstairs to look out on the garden from above trying to visualize new pathways, new curves, new clusters of ornament, and the plants still to appear and grow into the shapes we sketched in the dirt.
I thought I would talk a bit about tools and process. For me, making these drawing is a mixed emotional and technical exercise. When I began spontaneously drawing these made up birds, I made something of a promise to myself that I wouldn’t be too precious about the tools or paper I used, and that I would give myself permission to draw without judgement or purpose.
A day belated simple blue bird…
The birds I have posted here so far with Gayla’s invitation have been calls for Spring. As of today, while Winter’s legacy does still linger in crusty countryside ditch snowbanks and the occasional flurry of odd styrofoam-like snow pellets, many signs of Spring are happily appearing.
The scents and smells are returning. Even the sometimes fetid first whiff of last year’s decomposing plant matter can be wonderful. Winter can often feel sterile, even dead, with natural smells locked in temporary cryonic freeze. In these early Spring days, with animals and plants reappearing to the delight of our senses, and the air so much easier to draw in to our lungs, we wait even for that first ozone-tinged rain storm. Smells tie us to life and memory so directly.
Make your way outside, breathe as deeply as you can and identify those smells that mean Spring to you.
Happy Friday! Say hello to another brashly tinted bird staring steadfast into the crocus-hued days of Spring. This week’s bird comes by the way of the dollar store. Looking at my friend Aaron’s sketchbook I asked him about some bright (bright!) washes of colour he had laid down and was shocked to hear he had painted them with bingo daubers! I knew I had to get some and make a bird with them as soon as I could.