Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sketching Peregrines

Even without knowing their history, peregrine falcons make my heart sing.  They are one of the birds who's population was severely impacted by the use of DDT.  Now, many years after DDT was banned in the United States, much of the population has recovered.  I know of a few nesting territories in Oregon and in the winter we have an even more of these magnificant birds.

The winter I've had three opportunities to sketch a pair that winter near Cape Arago on the Oregon coast.  We park and wait and photograph / sketch.  I happiest when sit quietly for long stretches near a good subject .... and I can take my time sketching.
One day one of the peregrines spent over half an hour preening.  Another day the female disappeared briefly and came back with a gull.  The tercel (the male) waited on a lower perch and finally got the left-overs.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016


My tulips lasted a week till the petals started to fall gracefully down to the table.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Blue Bird - Lin Frye

Journal - Bluebird - trying to branch out of my comfort zone. These wonderful birds nest here year round ... They were enjoying surprisingly warm weather this week, and now the temps are dipping into the 20s ... How do they do it?

Lin Frye, North Carolina

Monday, February 1, 2016

A tiny kestrel on the hunt

This smallest of falcons was hunting at Fountain Bluff near Liberty, Missouri...it's a sports complex, quiet in winter, and he was perched high on one of the huge outdoor lights.

Kestrels often hunt from these high perches...trees, wires, telephone poles...and yesterday I watched one hover, wings beating madly, before dropping on some hapless critter. 

This one's a male--you can tell by his blue-gray wings.

Watching Egrets

Some of my best opportunities for sketching in nature come when my husband is busy photographing and I sketch.  We sit quietly in the car, both glued to our subject.  Great egrets winter in the valley where I live.  This winter we've seen up to 23 in a wet swale only about four miles from our home.

These were sketched on Jan 15.  Today, we returned to the same spot for our fourth visit.  We still had 12 egrets .... but they were farther off on a higher part of the pasture.  I confess, my husband and I both fell asleep waiting for the marvelous birds to come closer.  I don't get much sketching done with my eyelids closed!.... but it felt delicious.  Just image the milky sun keeping the car warm, the window cracked open just far enough to hear far off crows, occasional croaks from the egrets, and robins nearby.

By the time the egrets finally came near, the clouds had also come in to .... so no photographing  or sketching today.

For those of you who are interested, these were lightly penciled first, then inked, erased -- very quick.  Finally I add the watercolor, some in the car and some at home since I ran out of time.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snowy Property - Lin Frye

Painting -- A piece of my property in the snow.
Lin Frye, North Carolina

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sketching Crows

Two crows sketched on a damp day at the Oregon Coast.  I got lucky  -- which translates to:  it was warm enough to sketch outside, my husband was busy nearby, and the crows were cooperative.  It was delicious listening to the big breakers rolling ashore and spending time with the crows.