Thursday, May 31, 2012

Finches

...for PPF

 (Watercolor on canvas)
My mother always called it a nest, the multi-colored mass harvested from her six daughters' brushes, and handed it to one of us after she had shaped it, as we sat in front of the fire drying our hair. She said some birds steal anything, a strand of spider's web, or horse's mane, the residue of sheep's wool in the grasses near a fold where every summer of her girlhood hundreds nested. Since then I've seen it for myself, their genius— how they transform the useless. I've seen plastics stripped and whittled into a brilliant straw, and newspapers—the dates, the years— supporting the underweavings. As tonight in our bed by the window you brush my hair to help me sleep, and clean the brush as my mother did, offering the nest to the updraft. I'd like to think it will be lifted as far as the river, and catch in some white sycamore, or drift, too light to sink, into the shaded inlets, the bank-moss, where small fish, frogs, and insects lay their eggs. Would this constitute an afterlife? The story goes that sailors, moored for weeks off islands they called paradise, stood in the early sunlight cutting their hair. And the rare birds there, nameless, almost extinct, came down around them and cleaned the decks and disappeared into the trees above the sea.  Darwin's Finches by Deborah Digges
(Close up from watercolor above 5/31/12: NAM)

32 comments:

  1. I have TWO nests being built at my house right now! One is in the rose bush, ouch:) Have a blessed day, HUGS!

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  2. Beautiful, beautiful. I love your art work.

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  3. Amazing what the birds will build nests out of.

    Beautiful art work.
    You are so talented!!

    Smiles :)
    Kerin

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  4. I love it!

    Goldfinches would cling to the side of the barn at the museum and hunt for tasty treats, then fly off to other locations. I miss watching them flitting around. They add such a wonderful touch of color to your day.

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  5. OH I love that - the quote and your art. I have never tried watercolor on canvas... you entice me to so many different ways of doing! First dried flowers, then silk, now canvas:-)

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  6. How awesome to be able to see all of that happening. What a cool watercolor.

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  7. We have Flycatcher`s nesting and Cactus wrens. Dryer lint is their favorite material and dog hair.

    My grandmother also called our brushed hair bird nests and the hair always was dropped outside for the birds. Brought back memories.

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  8. OH your little bird houses are so cute and the little birds - I haven't seen these before - they are so pretty, by the way - I didn't sell anything on etsy yet, I just sold some boring old craft magazines on ebay! I am saving up to get the silk supplies as I am running out of a lot inks etc. I am hoping to put a few things to sell in September if I am brave enough. I think your work would sell but that maybe Etsy/Folksy is so big it doesn't showcase your work.

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  10. Such beautiful finches!
    I've never tried watercolor on canvas, but it looks like fun!
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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  11. Your birdhouses are so soft and gentle- beautiful! Happy PPF!

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  12. Wonderful- I love the texture of the paper becoming part of your composition and then the words you used to accompany it are perfect. Thank you for sharing this...
    Happy PPF,
    Stephanie

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  13. WOW!!!! I love A LOT your paint!!! It's just beautiful and very peaceful.

    Have an amazing and creative day!!
    Nora

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  14. beautiful words and beautiful art, I enjoyed this so much!

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  15. Your birds are so sweet. I love the texture you're getting with watercolor on canvas. I may have to give that a try.

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  16. Loving your watercolourings on canvas, it gives so much natural texture. Beautiful artwork. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  17. love this art that you have created and using w/c on canvas give it a very nature look ~ perfect ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

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  18. What beautiful birds and birdhouses!

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  19. What a beautiful story and what beautiful paintings.

    Found you through Artists in Blogland and very happy that I did.

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  20. Nature is so amazing and these are truly beautiful!! Happy ppf!

    Hugs Giggles

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  21. Wonderful refelction and wonderful art...loved 'em both :) The art is very soft and gorgeous!

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  22. We don't use birds houses or feeders where I live, and it'a a pity. Your bird houses are wonderful!

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  23. It is a beautiful watercolor. Saludos

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  24. Beautiful watercolours - so fresh and spontaneous.

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  25. great painting... and love the source pic... you have adapted it really beautifully and made it your own...xx

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  26. I love this, I've seen it, too! I've seen some nests with the craziest stuff in them...newspaper, plastic candy wrappings..you name it, they can use it. This is a lovely watercolor, Nancy! Just beautiful!

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  27. I love your painting. Finch are so sweet and adorable. We've watched birds collecting such odd things for their nests and it's amazing how they work. Have a great week Nancy.♥

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  28. I was drawn to your thumbnail on Artists in Blogland right away. Love this watercolor. Nothing prettier than a feeder full of goldfinches. xox

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  29. I enjoy the combinations of colors here, that red floor, the yellow birds and blue houses sing to me.

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  30. They are just darling! I love your little winged friends. Great painting! Yes, those birdies can transform any thing into something useful...something I should start living by. ;)

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  31. I found a net in the corner of a closet that is off my studio on the third floor of our house. It was very soft, grey, but when I looked a little closer, I saw some of the tiny snippets of my contemporary quilting fabrics...little triangles, very small...but these little pieces of fabrics were sandwiched between dog hairs..."maggie" and "boomer" over twenty years of dog hairs that ended up in the closet. Dalmatians, they were ...so the black and white pointed hairs became a gray nest. A mother mouse must have taken months to create this little work of art. It was a little blessing indeed.

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