owls

Twilight Zone

If you live around here, it’s likely your mind is running those opening notes to The Twilight Zone. This is the scene that many of us in fire country woke to this morning.

8:30am

Quite lovely actually, and cool air with not a hint of smoke. .  .down here anyway. But so strange, and a bit ominous.

And a great opportunity to find a way to wrap the art around it. My Muse friends have accepted a challenge to work with black gesso and develop it into a mixed media work these two weeks. Here’s how I began:

black gessoed stencil design on white paper, finished with solid gesso

Then I pawed around in my mountains of collage materials, cut some things out, and started to feel a story coming when I found two main pictorial elements:

Orange moon at night, orange sun all day

Salmon-heavy skies turning day into almost night

How is an owl to find his way

In this strange unbalanced world

Where humans have been tampering       for so long

To make it better         they say

Better for whom?

How are you faring in this present twilight zone?

Festival of Feathers

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fountain pen with Noodler’s Golden Brown ink, watercolor in Strathmore w/c sketchbook, (9.5×7.5″)

We joined the crowds at the Santa Rosa Bird Rescue Center’s annual Festival of Feathers on Saturday to practice more standing and sketching  (in a jostling crowd).  Most of the birds were relatively good posers (except for the raven) and there’s just nothing like coming up eyeball to eyeball with these elegant wild creatures. We lasted about an hour and a half and then were so exhausted we had to stop.  The sketches were done on site, the painting afterwards.

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Japanese bush pen with water soluble ink.

The raven was completely black, but that felt like it would be too much.  After “melting” the ink line to create volume I added just a touch or two of color.

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Wowl is the poster child of the bird sanctuary and my absolute  favorite!

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Festival of Feathers

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Tombow pen and watercolor

This weekend I stopped in at the Festival of Feathers at the bird rescue center in Santa Rosa to soak up some of that marvelous bird wildness.  I just had a few minutes, but many of the birds were out on the arm of their volunteer handlers and I had my camera with me.  Later I did some quick sketches from my computer and put some color on.

The Barn Owl glows golden in the sunshine and has the most unusual, disc-like face – difficult to draw because it seems so unlikely, even while being so exotically lovely.

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This Great Horned Owl is named Wowl!  How perfect is that?  And yes, he’s rather big, but still only a couple pounds of weight because of those hollow bird bones and super light feathers.

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This little guy is a Pygmy Owl, tiny but oh so wise looking!  I think I drew him bigger than he was because of his gravitas.