The days are l-o-n-g now and hot here in Phoenix. Though I have lived here for more than 30 years, we've been able to slip away to Minnesota for the last four summers. So it's been a while since I felt these temps! Today it's overcast, but still 107° at 6 pm! Whew!
A friend of mine lives in an apartment downtown. She wrote to me in early May with the subject line "A Fan for a Fan?" She commented on how the weather was already heating up and wondered if I'd be interested in making her a fan. A week earlier she had written a piece about all the birds she was enjoying in her yard, especially in its quieter state minus heavy traffic.
So I started doing research on birds she had mentioned. The Cornell Lab was a great help. (I keep going back to check on specific markings or identify the call of a bird I can't see in the tree above.)
I've lived here so long and seen birds out in the desert, at our feeders, and in the backyard. Yet I soon realized I hadn't really "seen" them. As I spent a little time each day for several weeks painting all sorts of doves - White-Winged, Inca, Eurasian Collard and Mourning - I came to see my backyard feathered friends more clearly. There are Pigeons of course, but others thrive in the desert too - Gila Woodpeckers, Cactus Wren, small birds like Sparrows and Finches, and of course, the tiny Hummingbirds.
After painting these, I cut and constructed a fan...complete with a paint-stirrer handle... and presented it with great delight to my friend. None too soon... temps continue to rise. We average 105°+ this time of year.
I've also created note cards with four of the paintings...
So for the ornithologists out there, here you go! Something to sing about!
Along the way....
When I first decided to create a website, I thought of it as a virtual catalog to "get my work out there". Then I picked up a copy of Austin Kleon's Show Your Work. He so clearly states my sense of how we are a community of creatives who benefit from sharing our process and work; I decided it makes sense to blog and share mine. Enjoy.