The Bard is Barred

Preparing panels for oil painting gave me some time to leave the studio while they dried. The local park was offering a chance to see some large raptors (birds not dinosaurs!) up close. I came home with a renewed appreciation for their attributes and their design.
Owls are associated with wisdom so even this barred owl appears profound when he calls out, “Who cooks for you?” in the still of the night. Hardly equal to the Bard Shakespeare but  being this adorable you can also call out “Too cute to care!”
Just had to spend a couple of hours capturing the memory. (Charcoal pencil on sketch paper)

100 Days

Another Osprey Sketch


I love charcoal and I love these birds so….here’s another charcoal sketch of the osprey, nesting this past summer,  at the end of our road. She was angry and screeching. I just know that she was saying something like, “Who goes there? Get losssstttttt!” She was flattened right down over the eggs underneath her and not prepared to fly and divert the predator (me). I will paint this one next I think, so have spent the afternoon sketching her and trying to compose and choose from different images of her in flight, arriving and leaving the nest, etc…

As I type this, I see that it’s a wet, chilly, November day and I haven’t even noticed until just now. So, hey, if you can’t take time to smell the roses in your busy life, may I suggest you try sketching them instead. It makes the rain go away.

100 Days Nature

Osprey Angst


Just a little sketch. 10 min. I grabbed a stick of charcoal and a piece of cartridge paper and lost myself in gesture and feathers and value and shape and thought about how the ospreys at the end of our road screech and circle overhead until all threats seem subdued and distant. I admire that.

Charcoal is messy and dark but never dark enough for me it seems. That’s why I do this. Set myself up for rejection at shows, online and with others. It gives me such  joy to reconnect with the magic of hand and eye and life. This sketch is ephemeral-it will smear and disappear and I’ll get to draw another one. It’s what keeps me free–this gift of drawing–and untouched by the whirling dirvishes–missing it all–so sad.

Ospreys are like ravens and crows. Unpopular with the ‘dime a dozen, draw me something pretty that matches my decor’ bird lover. Rather, they are fiercely admired by those who appreciate the smart and independant spirit with wings. I like people who like ravens and crows and ospreys and their ilk. Think I’ll paint some more of these and keep them till the kindred spirits come to find them.