When I came home from my 6 week stint in the Columbia Valley, I noticed my bird feeder had been majorly neglected. There was barely food left and the feeding troughs were so covered in bird poop that I’m not sure the birds could have gotten at the remaining food even if they had wanted to. I hoped my feathered friends weren’t mad at me… I took the feeder down emptied the old seed and gave her a good bath. Then filled her to the brim with some nice fresh song bird seed and hung her back up in the rightful place. It’s been just over a week and I am finally starting to see the return of several species of feathered beauties in the frontyard, my favorite of which is the red-winged blackbird. I think word got out, because the entire crew showed up for breakfast this morning!! There must have been at least a dozen of them… I’ve never seen so many at our place at one time, so they must have been hungry. Other friends that have visited lately: black capped chickadees, juncos, chipping sparrows, and a new, tiny, yellowish friend that moves so fast that I havent seen him well enough yet to identify. Honestly though, it doesn’t matter which species comes to visit, as long as birds are close by, my heart feels happy.
You may recognize this next adorable framed feathers piece that I am listing on my etsy shop today, because I blogged about him when I first finished it. Created on an old book page, a male red-winged blackbird is perched on a branch amongst sky blue and a found poem which reads “Black and bold. he was beautiful!” It has been framed in a deep found frame with brass edges, and a glass panel. Want to know a little bit more about Red-Winged Blackbirds? They are sexually dimorphic, which means the male has the gorgeous black, red and orange colouring while the women are speckled tan and brown. A gorgeous specimen of the passerine family, Blackbirds love seeds and insects when it comes to diet. Open grasslands, wetlands and marshlands are where most of these beauties make their homes, because a nest built over water provides extra shelter from predators. During mating, the bright and bold males stake out the perfect nesting site and defend it from others. This beautiful altered book piece is now available for sale on my etsy shop. Comment on this post or any of the other framed feathers posts to be entered into my GIVEAWAY (details HERE) where you could win a special package filled with bird-themed original art, prints and ephemera or 1 of three 25% OFF coupons for my online shop.
There are so many red-winged blackbirds around this area because we have 3,000 lakes in the South Cariboo, which means we also end up with tons of lush marshland (the place blackbirds like to hang out most). We see both males and females at our feeder and in the front yard’s tree. Seeing even more of these gorgeous winged creatures down at the marsh last week gave me some added inspiration needed to finish up an altered book page I’d been working on to add to my framed feathers installation. I included a few progress shots… which I am still getting used to: Sometimes it’s hard to remind yourself to stop, put down the pencil or paintbrush and just SNAP a photo. The found narrative/poem for this piece reads “Black and bold. he was beautiful!” and the image is created with gouache, pencil, ink and watercolour. This page is taken from a book I particularly love altering. The title of the book is “the story girl” and sometimes I feel like it could be an appropriate nickname for me when speaking about my altered book work: With my book work, I always begin by creating my own narrative from existing words, then allow them to shape the imagery.A couple detail shots here too, so that you get get a better idea of the the book page and the layers. Finally, here’s the blackbird in his radtastic gold frame for the exhibition: I am excited about this creation; it is nice to inject some bright color into my developing arrangement of golden/wood framed works. I think at least one or two more altered pages will make their way into the framed feathers portion of my exhibition. Many other altered books to come with the found fiction portion of my show, featuring my unique 3-d wall hung books.