Now that the temperatures have finally dipped into the winter range the finches have returned to our feeders. A virtual finchy frenzy has been ongoing for three days now. Mourning doves, blue jays, nuthatches, chickadees, juncos and many woodpeckers have remained to visit our suet and seed buffet while many other species have flown the coop to warmer vistas. Not unlike the human snow birds who relocate in Florida for the winter months, our feathered friends head south for fun in the sun.
Friends still don’t understand why we chose to move northward into a colder climate for retirement. Although I appreciate the ease of a summer climate, I would miss the winter months, heavy sweaters and scarves along with my weekly hearty homemade soups. Somehow the winters come and go and we actually get to enjoy four different seasons. I must admit that I look forward to lengthening days and more sunlight. In the meantime, since I am not into winter sports (or actually any sports) I find this season a good excuse to get back into the making of art.
Since the bird population has been so active in our yard, it seemed only natural to look through my scrap collection for bird images. The many lovely Christmas cards we received get recycled into collages where possible. Numerous birds on cards and in magazines presented themselves as inspiration. Good friend Loretta (always inspirational) has committed to posting an art piece each day on her blog. The most recent have been bird ladies. Loretta combines human accessories with the birds to create her hybrid figures who seem to be having fun living a life in two worlds. As I leafed through magazines I came upon numerous bicycles and decided to combine my birds with the two wheelers. Loretta has probably already done this; somewhere in the recesses of my mind I remember at least one such image. Hoping that my collage would not copy Loretta’s, I dove in. Imagining bird travel by bicycle seemed a fairly whimsical (though impractical) mode of transportation.
Using a larger 18″ X 24″ watercolor block allowed me to incorporate more migrating birds on their bikes. The larger picture plane required more effort on my part. In the end I’m not sure the results merited the time spent, but I did have fun. Future icy days in the forecast will no doubt find me giving it a second try. Next time I will focus on one figure and try to use more painting techniques. Although colored pencils have been a long time preference, the more spontaneous nature of paint seems to be calling my name for the next piece.