Daily Archives: May 18, 2011

Sketches Before Supper

three birds of prey, colored pencil sketch

Cruel Beaks

Making a sketch a day is practicing what I preach.  I have told my children for years that if you want to call yourself a writer, you must write every day (not an original idea).  A singer must sing every day.  Ergo, if you want to call yourself an artist, you must make art every day.  Or at least something that has to do with art.   Thus daily sketches.  However, in the crush of making a living (art is not particularly conducive to that currently) and keeping up with family, I have to fight for my creative time.  I ignore the people at work who razz me when I leave “early” after six hours to try to get to my studio for a few hours each day (yes, the math is undeniable – “part-time” artists work 60 hours a week minimum), I ignore my cats yowling to be fed, I try to listen to my husband…  but the hours spent with art are hours of low blood pressure and quiet satisfaction.  Thus it is that tonight I had 40 minutes between chopping carrots for the chicken pot pie and putting the bubbling pie on the table to devote to birds of prey.  A labor of love.   The pie wasn’t too bad, either. 

Even the most rudimentary sketch teaches me to pick out the key elements and patterns.  Birds are amazing, they just have too many feathers…  These are from photographs by Jim Leonard, someone for whom I cannot find an email address, so more research is necessary before I can give him proper credit.  Like me, he loves Finley Wildlife Refuge.  Unlike Mr. Leonard, I do not have a telephoto lens… so I hope he does not mind if I learn from and rejoice in his photos.