It has been some time since I worked in graphite, and it is a pleasure to return to it. Even more than that, it has been about three decades (yes, three decades) since my previous bird drawings. It may have been one of those serendipitous events that I was recently asked to provide one or two bird drawings for an upcoming gallery exhibition............as I am thoroughly enjoying the subject matter, and may not have made the decision myself to revisit it.
I love birds. LOVE birds. Who would have thought? I was raised by an avid bird watcher, who provided lengthy commentary on every purple-crested-what-cha-ma-call-it known to man. My father made sure that I knew more bird species by age twelve than most persons learn in their entire lifetime. And I in turn was a typical, rather contentious, and very bored young person, with much bigger fish to fry than learning bird species!
Or so I thought. In spite of myself I learned, and through my adulthood I have become just as fascinated with birds as is my father. Consequently I have gone on to bore my son even more than my father did me, and who knows? Maybe someday my son and I will have a riveting conversation about the migration patterns of the elusive gray catbird................Okay, alright; I won't hold my breath on that one! I'd settle for him not remembering his mom as the nut he discovered standing outside the kitchen window one frigid winter morning, unmoving, frozen in position with seed-filled hand raised high. (And I'll have you know it only took two ten-minute 'statue sessions', on two consecutive days, to get those chickadees to feed out of my hand -- it was amazing!) I was absolutely awestruck when I held a stunned American Kestral, who then took flight from my hands -- and I still try to save every fallen or seemingly abandoned baby bird who's path I cross.