In my visits with students in environmental schools and nature programs, I always look forward to drawing birds. We draw from observation; fast gesture sketches of birds at the feeders and in flight. We render more slowly, from taxidermy specimens, photos and reference books. Sometimes, we pull dead birds from the freezer, (window strikes), for a closer study. We add field notes, measurements and markings, linking the observation skills of science and art in the spirit of Audubon.
Now and then, for fun, I just make birds up. One Winter’s night, in Traverse City, I was inking a drawing of a tree I’d pencilled in a courtyard in San Diego in warmer times. It had large, yellow trumpet-like blossoms. It also, had hanging yellow buds which inspired the beak of this imaginary bird, becoming one with its environment. That night, I drew “The Imposter.” I followed this with “The Jailbird” and “Lovebirds” which I’ll post…and a seemingly endless list of others yet to get around to.