Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bird Sketches

The past few days have been rainy and dreary and my attitude seems to be matching the weather. Not feeling particularly inspired about what to paint next since finishing my commissions, I decided the best thing to do was just put a pencil on paper and sketch something. While I normally find the process of drawing and painting very engrossing, this time I also felt it to be very therapeutic and centering. As I sketched away my mood lifted and the things that seemed to be troubling me disappeared at least for a time. Sitting and doing this also allowed my mind to wander back to my childhood. Whenever I was worried or upset or just annoyed with my sisters I would seek out a quiet place in the fields around my house and hide in the tall grass or bushes and draw pictures of the wildlife I saw. It always made me feel better and I realized that I still do the same things now. Whenever I feel like I just can't cope with reality I run off to nature and try to find peace. Since the weather was so nasty I ran off to my studio and sketched, but the end result was almost as good!

I started off sketching from some photos that I had taken of birds, but then I decided to check in on a live web cam that I have been watching that's on an eagles nest in Iowa. It was a great opportunity to sketch something alive and moving and something that I ordinarily would not have much chance of seeing unless I found a nest and climbed a tree. Two of the three eggs in the nest have hatched so there are baby eaglets to sketch as well. Most of the time one of the adult eagles is sitting on the nest and there's not much activity, but even still the bird moves it's head around continually so you have to be quick to finish a pose. Then when it's feeding time everyone in the nest is moving, but sketching like that is excellent practice. It teaches great hand-eye coordination and you really have to pay attention to what you're seeing to get it right.

If anyone is interested in viewing the link to the site is

I have done some checking and have found there are other live web cams out there to view so perhaps I will spend a little more time getting an intimate look at nature from the comfort of my studio. This, of course, will never be as good as getting out into nature itself and I try to do that daily and encourage others to do the same. While computers are great for a lot of things they are not a substitute for fresh air and sunshine and physically connecting with our environment. We need more of that. Go do some therapy!!!!