Coming Full Circle
1969. Forty-five years ago, an enthusiastic young birder named Scott Stoner found and kept watch over a red-winged blackbird nest in a field near his home. When eggs and parent birds disappeared one mid-June day, he took it. Scott mounted the nest to a piece of cardboard, signed his name, dated it, and put it on display in a nature museum in his basement. He was 12 years old.
Three weeks ago, I found Scott’s nest. It was still mounted to that piece of now-yellowed cardboard, tucked away in a long-forgotten cabinet in an outbuilding at a local nature center. I was drawn to the beauty of the nest, but also to the date it was collected and to the stories it held. After drawing the nest, I decided to track down Scott Stoner.
That’s how I know about the 12-year-old and the basement museum. As it turns out, Scott pursued a career in conservation, donated some of his basement collection to the nature center years ago, and became an expert bird photographer.
Nest to art, artist to collector: how satisfying to come full circle.
This journal entry is a tribute to eager young naturalists. May they find treasures that spark our sense of wonder for years to come.
What an awesome story!
Reblogged this on Rebecca Nipper and commented:
I could not help but to smile when I read this.
Ah, I love how this worked out…and your wonderful sketch.
Thanks! It was very satisfying to connect with Scott and to think about all those years in the life of a nest.
This is an incredible painting; blown away.
Laura- So glad you enjoyed poking around my blog last night! Thanks for all the likes and comments. Hope you found some inspiration and ideas to keep up the great work you are doing.
Thank you, Jean! Yes, more than enough inspiration always to be had by browsing at your site. I could have hung around forever! I’d like to work more lettering into my work too and I think the freshness of your colors and style, along with your lettering, really do it for me. Do you recommend any books about incorporating the lettering more, or is this something that just came naturally to you?
I get a lot of questions about my lettering, so I think I’ll try to do a post about it. Couple of favorite resources:
Speedball Textbook, A Comprehensive Guide to Pen and Brush Lettering
The Bible of Illuminated Letters by Margaret Morgan, Barron’s, 2006
The Art of Calligraphy- A practical guide to the skills and techniques by David Harris, Metro Books, 1995
Tip: Look at letters styles in print, magazines, children’s books, signs, posters, etc. Copy letters you like to practice.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate those resources. Heading to the library anyway, so I’ll look those up!
Lovely story as well!