Draw A Bird, September 2022

We just returned from an adventurous trip to Alaska and are blessed to have visited there twice. This trip was planned for August 2020, but “you-know-what” happened and the trip was cancelled. Things seemed pretty much back to normal, but some restaurants had closed and some places were short-staffed, but that seems to be the current situation all over the U.S.

Previously I made scrapbooks of our travel adventures but stopped doing so a few years ago. When we moved last year, I realized just how many trip scrapbooks I’ve made, how much work I put into them, and how little we look at them. However, after each trip that I did not scrap, there was a feeling of disappointment and let-down because nothing was documented and because we had just a smattering of photos on our cell phones. However, I think I’ve found a happy medium.

On a YouTube video, Lindsay Weirich (The Frugal Crafter) featured handmade watercolor sketchbooks gifted by an Etsy shopkeeper, ArtsiRosi. I purchased a small book made with Arches cold press watercolor paper (the best), packed up a Portable Painter Watercolor Palette, a Derwent push-button water brush, and a few other essentials. Sketching our way through Alaska and detailing some of the highlights was so satisfying and fun. I drew and painted in the car while traveling from city to city, in the evenings, and on the plane.

View from the Plane
View from the Plane

Because it is Draw A Bird day (unofficially), here are two of the many species of birds we saw. I have always wanted to see a Puffin in its own environment, and boy were there puffins (horned and tufted)! The ravens are bold and huge and likely could feed a family of four, but that’s probably not recommended 😉

Tufted Puffin
Tufted Puffin
Nevermore, A Common Raven

It’s joyful to remember where these quick-ish sketches (definitely not masterpieces) were created, and the plan is to feature some favorites over the next couple of weeks. Do you document your trips? What methods do you use? Take care ❤

Draw A Bird, August 2022

The bobwhite is a type of quail that lives in open fields and brushy boarders. Unfortunately, the bobwhite population has decreased by almost 85% over the last many years, thought to be due to the use of pesticides and habitat loss.

Bobwhite
Bobwhite

These ground birds roost in “coveys” of 3 or more in a close-packed, outward-facing circle, their tails pointed toward the center, providing them with protection and warmth. If you’ve ever heard a bobwhite call, you’d know it right away because it sounds like they clearly are saying “bob-white.”

How has your August been? It is hot and humid here, but in the next month or so I am looking forward to cooler autumn temperatures. Take care ❤

Draw A Bird, July 2022

Because it’s July and we just celebrated the birthday of the USA, I painted a bald eagle, our national bird.

American Bald Eagle

Did you know that three birds were voted upon for the USA’s official national symbol: an eagle, a dove, and a turkey? Although the eagle is a symbol of strength and courage, good old Ben Franklin felt it was a bird of “bad moral character” and that the turkey was a much more respectable bird and more “North American.” I would have voted for the dove, a symbol of peace, love, and freedom. I don’t like to talk politics, but somehow, at this point, maybe Ben Franklin’s choice might have been more appropriate, and the quizzical look on this eagle’s face seems to agree. 🙂

Draw A Bird, May 2022

This portrait of a bossy blue jay was a pleasure to paint: so calming and meditative, which is the exact opposite of a blue jay’s personality!

While they are known to be bullies at the feeders, they also “jeer” a loud call in order to track their mates and to warn of impending threats. When that happens, all the birds fly off and take cover.

Bossy Blue Jay
Bossy Blue Jay

Hearing their urgent, incessant caws gets our attention, too, and we try to figure out what all the squawking is about. Usually it is a cat or large raptor getting too close for comfort. Blue jays truly are the town criers of the avian species!

Gentle Giraffe

When painting an animal, I usually take time to learn about them, hoping to feel more connected to the subject. Being the tallest mammal on Earth, a giraffe’s legs are taller than many humans—about 6 feet. Despite its length, a giraffe’s neck is still too short to reach the ground for a drink of water. As a result, the animal has to spread its front legs awkwardly or kneel to reach down!

Gentle Giraffe
Gentle Giraffe

A giraffe’s spots are much like human fingerprints and no two have exactly the same pattern. Most of these fun facts were new to me; did you know any of them? Thanks for stopping by!