Friday, July 16, 2010

Back to the Birds

After all the visitors, colour and excitement of the football, back to normal life, whatever that is - and some quiet time in my studio. I've been sticking fruit in the bare branches of the plum tree right outside my window, and birds have very quickly become expectant about finding more there every morning. I set up sketchbook, watercolours and pen-and-ink ready to sketch them yesterday - the movement of my hand dipping pen into the ink chased the crested barbet (middle) away so I had to do that slo-o-ow motion the next time he arrived. They are comical little birds and sometimes chase each other around on the ground, tumbling and chattering with their feathers fluffed out, like clowns with mad, bad hair. But this one was shy - so in between visits I sketched the blackeyed barbets (oops, I meant bulbuls!), who aren't as bothered by me staring at them through the window - nor by our sluggish old dog trying to catch some feeble winter sun under the branches!
Thanks to everyone who has been so encouraging about my World Cup sketching! I think I took a little leap in sketching fast and wildly in public and it was great to have your support :o)

8 comments:

Gillian said...

Ooo - I haven't been here in a while. Great to see your latest posts, as always, so enjoyable to peruse the paintings and read your blog. I was swimming silently the other day and a grackle hopped down onto the bridge wall between small & large pool to get a drink and wet his birdy feet, then hopped all around the edge of the pool. I kept waiting for him to see me and get a fright, but he hopped off into the long grass of our neglected lawn to look for bugs, still oblivious to my presence! I felt so "one" with nature. :)

Art with Liz said...

As usual, wonderful Cathy! I do the same every morning, except I haven't sketched any of them. I mainly get the doves - about 100 of them! as I also put seed down every am. You have so many wonderful species of birds up there - far more than we have down here.

Robyn said...

I'm so envious of this close proximity with birds. Beautiful sketches, Cathy. You've made it look so easy and we all know it isn't :) I did enjoy being able to click and bring up the bigger picture.

Teresa said...

Birds sure do train easily, don't they? We have three bird feeders that we keep filled with sunflower seeds and a hummingbird feeder. If any of the feeders become empty the birds fly or walk around them expectantly as if to hurry us up to refill it!

I especially like your depictions of the blackeyed barbets (which I'd never heard of until now).

laura said...

These are really two of the loveliest sketchbook pages I've ever seen, Cathy!I love the sparing use of color, the free lines, and the way the individual sketches are spread out on the pages. It's just so pleasing to look at: the perfect antidote to hubbub!

Cathy Gatland said...

Thank you for popping in Gillian :) - it is such a nice when you don't feel an intruder.

Hi Liz, we do have so many great birds, I wish I knew more about them - am trying very slowly!

Thanks Robyn, it isn't easy getting those fast little creatures, as I know you know!

They do Teresa, or do they train us!? I made a mistake with barbets, which I've corrected - they are blackeyed bulbuls. The barbet is in the middle.

Gee Laura, thank you! Sometimes it just happens that way :)

Barbara Philip said...

It seems that we were both inspired by these fruit-eaters in our gardens. I have just put up a post about them and the drawings that I did as a result. I love your technique!

Cathy Gatland said...

Barbara, I saw your post with the exact same birds, so beautifully observed - they are fascinating to watch and (try to)draw!