A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Can you see what you hear?

I belong to a small group of women artists, and we have recently set ourselves a challenge! It is to produce a piece of art, in any form and in any medium, with the theme of 'Birdsong'. Above is one of my first experimental pieces. It shows a starling and a couple of blackbirds, and I've tried to interpret their song in thread, quite difficult really. I've actually coated the thread 'birdsong' patterns in glitter glue, but it's not showing in these photos. The blackbird's song is like a rainbow of colour in it's beauty and complexity.  These ideas need to be made visual so that I can assess how to proceed.

I've managed to take a few photos recently of birds in our garden and at the local park. Above is a starling, sitting at the very top of a Leylandii in a neighbours garden. In fact, at the moment that particular tree is absolutely full of starling chatter every evening when they come home to roost. Quite a noise, but they are completely hidden within it's dark, dense depths! I also managed to sketch a blackbird on our lawn and apple tree while taking a coffee break.

One of my favourite birds for character, crows! The one above is looking as though it needs a good feed, but that is something I can put right later, if I make a final piece with a crow. When it comes to the 'songs' that birds sing, or the noise they make, as in crows or those very noisy parakeets, I find that colour is important. I hear their songs/noise in colour, and the crows croak is definitely black and spiky!

I managed to get some good shots of these crows at our local park, plus a couple of sketches.

I must include the robin in this challenge, such a cheeky little bird, but one that I sometimes hear singing it's bubbly song at night in winter, under the street light. They also have that tic tic song, but I hear it's song in red and gold!

I have to confess that I've sat in the garden on previous occasions, and have tried to convey birdsong in a visual way. It always ends up looking like shorthand, as in the sketch above! 

Every year, the swifts come back over our house, and I really feel that spring/summer has arrived when I hear their high pitched scream! I am always sorry when they leave. Their high piercing call is blue in my mind, probably because they are always so high against the sky.

I managed to get these photos of a thrush {a baby maybe?) in our local park earlier in the year. This will be my next bird to experiment with. Plenty of time though, we have until the end of September,

What I enjoy so much about a challenge like this, is that it really encourages me to be more alert and observant of the wild life and nature around us in a more intense way, and that puts me in mind of that poem, 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and care,

Hmmm, I think I may be doing a bit more of that now, lovely excuse eh!!