Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: October 6, 2019
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 12

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    While I have read nature writers like Muir, Thoreau, and Darwin, I haven't read them recently enough to claim a favorite. I'll work on that! I just went to my toasty desert backyard to do some reflecting myself and found myself waxing a bit philosophical, comparing the needs and worries of a house finch to myself in the time of a pandemic. It was a helpful to sit overlooking nature and think beyond myself for a short while. I look forward to spending time with my nature journal on a more regular basis, observing, recording, and thinking. A quote from my journal, "In these uncertain, frightening, and divisive times in the midst of a pandemic, nature provides a bit of solace, some salve for the spirit." I'll make an effort to continue looking for the emotion support in nature and art!
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    IMG_0394IMG_0393 There was a long gap of time from when I started the class in October and am wrapping it up in mid May. I wish I had been able to stick with it in a more concentrated way in order to really work on improving, but I've enjoyed the techniques taught and plan to continue to work on improvement. I enjoy the Koi watercolor kit a lot, which is much easier than dragging out my tubes of color and large palette. I really need to work on showing a tilt of the head towards the viewer rather than everything looking like it is in profile!
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    IMG_0364 I was having a bad day, so I decided an art break was in order! I started from scratch as my original marsh wren was pretty sloppy and it was months ago! I'm not too unhappy with this one, but I've found that I still have trouble creating the idea of looking at something from an angle rather than in profile. As a kid drawing horses, they were always in profile looking right! That's something for me to work on!
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    I, too, am happier with the outcome than I thought I would be! It was a challenge to keep thinking "this shape" rather than "this feather" or "this piece of the plant." I haven't had time to work on this class since December, but I had a lull today and was glad to get my drawing materials back out! And I can't find where to upload my image although I've done it before...sorry about that!
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    I really had to pay attention to the shape of the birds' wing, beaks, etc., as they moved. As I realized I didn't get much time to record each position, I had to decide what was most important to record.
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    After a busy 9 or 10 days, I'm finally back to class! I had left off trying to do the blind contours, which were squiggly lines at best. Tried again and at least got a little better. I'm not brave enough to share mine! I remember doing this in a junior high art class and it is valuable, so I'll try again as times goes on!
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    Great idea for a subject! I'll try it!
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    I went ALL the way to my front courtyard to compare two orange flowers: lantana and marigolds. It was interesting to really look at the structure of their flowers, buds, and leaves. I had to try a Venn diagram to compare and contrast - I was surprised that I needed more in the "both have" central area than the outer areas, but I ran out of room in both sections and went to making notes next to the sketches. I had never noticed the pattern on the lantana of growing two flowers for each pair of leaves or that the marigold leaves were four or five matched pairs with a larger central leaf at the top. I found the flower structure on the lantana to be especially interesting. I enjoyed the activity and will do it again!Comparison - 10-14-19
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    I have noticed over the past few years of observing birds in our yard that the small Inca quail have been pushed out while more and more white-winged and mourning doves have appeared. Eurasian collared doves have moved into our area, but not my yard yet, thankfully. However, I have observed rock doves (feral pigeons) moving steadily eastward in our valley. They used to congregate further to the west. A year ago I saw them in a neighbor's yard, less than a mile west of me. This year one found our feeders and now we get up to eight at a time. (I was surprised to see how big a pigeon appears next to a dove!). I wonder if the pigeon and larger dove habitats are expanding because they've been successful and need more room. Why did the Inca doves, once fairly regular visitors to my yard, disappear? Could they not compete with the larger doves? I've noticed how aggressive the larger doves are, especially to others of their species as well as the Gambel's quail. Did they drive the Inca doves away? Are the quail still successful because they stand their ground? Finches and sparrows are also smaller, but are holding (more than) their own, but the doves tend to ignore them. As I write, I hear the rather annoying sound of a white-winged dove driving another bird away. I'd like to figure out how to feed the Gambel's quail and not the doves!
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    I visited our New Mexico backyard for this exercise on a beautiful fall day (my thermometer says 80 degrees in the shade). I've observed the birds at our feeders many, many times and sometimes tried to sketch, or usually photograph, them. Today I just sat and listened and watched until they decided it was safe to return to the feeders. It was mostly the usual suspects - doves, house swallows, house finches - and the highlight was an answer to a question: are the hummingbirds still around? We left the feeder up for migrants and towards the end of my session, two chased each other into the yard. One left and the other perched at the tip of the tree to rest and rejoice in his victory. But, unfortunately, he didn't spot and visit the feeder. I mostly wrote notes about my observations, but did sketch a finch at the feeder and do a quick sketch of the hummingbird to try to remember his markings, as best I could see them, before he disappeared. My challenge will be to get more sketches and fewer words into observations!
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    It helped drawing from a photo because the bird sat still, unlike most of them in real life! I was able to take my time to notice details. Because I was drawing, I really tried to pay attention to the details on the bird - eye placement was hard and I had to duo it twice, and it may not be right yet. I didn't take more than about 20 minutes or so on the drawing and didn't get into journaling on this assignment, but I hope to be more detailed in future assignments. I figured this was a warm up!IMG_2314
    in reply to: Jump Right in! #646391
  • Cheryl
    Participant
    BirderCheryl
    I have always loved nature and usually rely on my camera to record what I see. However, I want to become a better artist and and a better birder. I also need to learn to notice details more rather than relying on looking at my photos later. This seems like the perfect way to accomplish several goals: get outdoors more often, while improving my artistic abilities, birding skills, and observation skills. I am inspired by the journals in the video, from the versions with detailed notes to those who have much more drawing talent than I possess! I especially loved the beauty of the last journal in the video with the lush watercolors, and the quick bird sketches in the next-to-last video. (Can you tell birds will be a focus?) I like the idea of having a plan for how often I will journal since I won't be taking a special trip anytime soon. It will mostly be what I see at home - using my busy bird feeders as inspiration, but I hope this project will also encourage me to sneak out to a local nature area for a few hours of journaling (and photography!). I look forward to this class!
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)