Each of these birds represents one of my collections. They will all be added to, in due time, and of course new collections will be created. I have spent much of lockdown exploring our local area and discovering a huge variety of wildlife ready and willing to model for me!
We even had a family of blackbirds nesting in the garden (not unusual) however the mum had been attacked by a neighbours cat and had lost enough tail feathers to keep her grounded for a few weeks. She hid behind a stack of cherry logs, we ensured that there was plenty of food and drink for her, which in turn invited every other bird and his mate to the garden! another more tempting feeding station was set up for them. My husband made it his lockdown mission to safeguard this little bird so that she could return to her chicks, who were in a nest just above her. Each time he approached Tina (we named her after Tina Turner, shake a tail feather? Very droll, I know) her husband, Ike, would appear and go berserk. Then every evening, around the same time, Ike would join Tina for an evening meal. She would come out from behind the log pile and join her mate knowing she was safe. It was as though he had settled the chicks down for the evening, after a long day of hunting, feeding and cleaning up after them like a single parent. After twenty minutes or so he returned back to the nest and she to the log pile.
Tina regained her ability to fly and to return to the nest after a couple of weeks, though we missed the momentous moment. I did find her missing tail part at the front of the house, she'd had a severe plucking (cheap joke.....no pun intended).
We did witness Ike and Tina send their fledglings off into the big wide world.....well the next door.
When I draw my birds I work from the photo's that I or my husband have taken, I piece together different parts to get the composition I want.
I focus on the detail and the colour, so I do a lot of research for the finer detail that I can't see on some of my subjects. Most of my art focuses on the bird itself because I don't want the background to detract from the subject. I use coloured pencils on Ingres paper which is available in a myriad of natural colours which gives the impression of a natural background. I really like using Faber Castell and Caron D'Ache pencils, however I also use Berol Karismacolor pencils which were discontinued in Europe in 2005. I bought a couple of sets when I found out because they are so amazing.