Bluebird Days

I’ve been teaching “Painting the Colors of Spring” for the last few months, which has made me even more aware of the subtleties of color at this time of year. We started with earth colors back in March, took a deep dive into yellows and greens in April, and ended this week with an in-depth look at blues and violets. Right on cue, the bluebirds in our yard finished laying five pale blue eggs, the lilacs and violets are in bloom, and the sky was clear and bright all week. I treasure… Read More

The Inside Scoop

Monitoring birdhouses gives you a rare glimpse into the often hidden world of nesting birds. It allows an up-close look at nest materials, delicate eggs, and birds at work.  I have just two boxes on my property; bluebirds occupy one and tree swallows have taken up the other. In the week ahead, the bluebird eggs will hatch and, hopefully, the swallows will begin laying eggs; and I will have a chance to watch it all unfold. Tips and Techniques– I experimented this week with using watercolor loaded into a dip pen to… Read More

New Neighbors

I’ve been watching our newest neighbors as they take up residence in our yard. Bluebirds recently fledged from one of our nest boxes and a brief battle for the box was won by a pair of house wrens. There are not really four birds, as depicted, but I wanted to capture the pattern of the pair’s activities during the nest building stage. These poses were repeated over and over as I sketched. You’d think that would have made it easier, but wrens aren’t known for standing still. I switched between using binoculars… Read More