Festival overboard! To my delight, I've gotten myself into three Bird Festivals this October. This weekend, I'll be heading down to Greenwich Audubon in Connecticut to participate in the Fall Festival and Hawk Watch. I'm stoked- who doesn't love the chance to see live raptors up close, their gleaming eyes visibly acknowledging you taking in how sharp their talons are? It's awesome. Hopefully, my booth space will be one next to this event!

I'm going all-out gearing up for these festivals. Inventory, PR, cutting greeting cards, making new paintings, making some more cards while everything dries, adding some more paint, realizing I've lost my scissors, running around looking for it to cut more cards while that darn paint is still drying...I've developed a well-oiled machine. 

This is what a lot of my paintings look like mid-production. 

For this hawk festival, it was obvious to me what kind of painting I should make: a Red-tailed Hawk. It's in production. While I take a break from the machine, I've been taking the advice that my friend Raymond from Leica gave to me: do more field sketching. So I've been doing little doodles of the pigeons that loiter in the street outside my house. But when it's dark, which it usually is by the time I start working on art stuff, I have been focusing on really looking at a particular bird's anatomy by drawing it in pen. I cannot reverse mistakes, so I really have to think about the correlation between each body part in terms of placement and size. This is a fantastic exercise- I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. 

These little guys are about to shrink! But see the differences in the shape of their heads, the width of their tails? Ooops. As I got better at looking at the warbler shape, I realized I could not just draw the outline based on what I thought it looked like. Very humbling!

.....That Yellow Warbler is mine! 

A few days ago, I switched to Sharpie (the ultimate unforgiving drawing utensil) and started drawing on that shrinky-dink plastic paper. Now, not only am I practicing bird anatomy, I've made a whole bunch of endearing bird necklaces to send out into the world. For myself, there is now a Yellow Warbler that I will carry around my neck wherever I go; an albatross that lifts me up instead of pulling me down! 


For information on the Greenwich Audubon Hawk Festival, follow this link here!