Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Day in the US...

...and I was very happy to see the first juncos (or snowbirds as my mom used to call them) at our feeder!  It's been warm here, but apparently not so where these little birds come from.

We were also delighted by the red-breasted nuthatch--we normally see its less colorful cousin, the white-breasted variant.  I keep a variety of bird books at the shed--my favorite is still Peterson's--and hadn't realized this little guy was as common as he is!

I've been enthralled by John Muir Laws' wonderful book, Laws Guide to Drawing Birds *--among dozens of other inspirations, one pearl of wisdom I especially liked was "if you can't see it, don't draw it."  So I'm trying to remember only to draw those things I actually SEE, and not worry if the bird flies before I can finish.

The basic shape and pose is all you can expect in a field sketch--a touch of color fleshes out the image.  And of course quite often the bird will return so you can capture a bit more!

I have a lot to be thankful for, and one of the most important things to me is the opportunity to see and sketch the creatures around me.

*PLEASE NOTE:  If you use the above link to order John's book, you will get an autographed copy, and all income will go to the artist/author!


  1. Cathy, this is just wonderful; and if I can find my way back to this blog, I will add a link on one or two of mine. LoL xx

  2. Kate;
    I've been reading the same book - drawing birds with kids around me!
    Great thanksgiving post!

  3. Thanks, Nina! Isn't that a delightful book!

  4. Neat post for T-day. I call them snowbirds also and normally don't get to see them
    We are getting lots of red-breasted Nuthatches and one day when I was filling the feeder one landed on my finger and took a seed. What a thrill.

  5. What sweet inspiration! Watching the birds at the feeder and heated birdbath is such great winter entertainment. Maybe I'll now add in sketching the visitors!

  6. Beautiful sentiments and drawings for a day of being thankful. ,,,, and interesting that different parts of the country nickname different species of bird with the same name. In Wisconsin 'snowbird' referred to snow buntings.... often seen flitting along the shoulder of the road in the winter time.

  7. Love these little guys Kate! My 3 feeders are currently full of chicadees, blue jays and squirrels. All fun to watch.

  8. Your birds look wonderfully alive and full of energy! I love this page. :)


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