“to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
~ Mary Oliver
I found a beautifully crisp image for one of my favorite birds on Paint My Photo. It’s the third image down on this page: http://paintmyphoto.ning.com/main/search/search?q=goldfinch&page=2 I’d like to thank Rodney Campbell for his wonderful photography work.
Now, let’s all close our eyes and pretend it’s 75 degrees and sunny, or our friend here might feel overdressed!
There’s nothing more beautiful than a male goldfinch in the summertime, sporting his bright yellow plumage (and is this a dynamite image, or what?) If you’d like to experience these beautiful visitors in your backyard, you might consider purchasing a thistle feeder and installing it near a window. We have one, and all of the perches are full quite often during the year.
If you’re interested in purchasing a feeder, I recommend the upside-down feeders for goldfinches. Otherwise, you’ll have a crowd of house finches, which aren’t nearly as beautiful. So, if yellow is your color, you might want to look for a feeder such as this one: http://www.amazon.com/Perky-Pet-399-Patented-Upside-Thistle/dp/B000ARMH4A It’s fun to watch them hanging upside down and eating, and this keeps other birds unable to hang upside down (which may be all of them!) away from your thistle, which can become expensive if you have a whole lot of goldfinches around, let alone all the other birds that enjoy it..
Here is my attempt to capture this guy in my Polychromos colored pencils:
In the interest of time, I do all of my colored pencil work with no underlying pencil sketch, and no erasures. (I should probably change this, as I’m sure it’d improve the end result!) This one took much longer than I had planned, as I decided to use several colors vs. the one color I typically choose. I just had to try and replicate his beautiful plumage. Took about an hour this morning, which is about 40 minutes longer than the time I had figured on, but once I got started, I just had to press on.
I took Rachel’s advice over at http://rachelm.wordpress.com/ and used a larger sketchbook for this one. This is a Stonehenge 7×7″ pad in Cream. It is 100% cotton, acid free paper, and is a joy to work with. (Dick Blick had a great buy on them right after Christmas. I admit, I’m a little addicted to that site!) Colors used were: cadmium yellow lemon, lt cad ylw, naples ylw, dk naples ochre, raw umber, bistre, cold grey V, brown ochre, leaf green, permanent grn and pine grn.
There are so many talented artists following my progress here, which is very humbling. You all inspire me more than you realize. If anyone can suggest some tips for making my daily artwork a less time-consuming process, I’d be all ears. I’m in the tax business, and by about mid-February, I’ll be lucky to have 10-15 minutes max per day for art, but I don’t want to break my promise to myself to make something every day. It helps me so much to decompress.
I have another bird planned for the letter H tomorrow. I’m pretty excited about that one also. Will I be up to the task? I hope you’ll stop by and find out. Thanks for visiting!