April 20, 2014: Today was Easter. I woke up at five a.m. this morning and stepped outside to a loud chorus of birds just before sunrise. They already knew it was to be a beautiful day and it was. After spending the afternoon with family, my husband and daughter and I returned to the house and worked in the yard. My daughter and I dug into the garden area and made it fresh for a new growing season. Many fat worms were in the soil. It felt like a family day, a loving day and it reminded me of a little passage in a used book I found called, Love is a Special Way of Feeling, by Joan Walsh Anglund, copyrighted 1960. The cover is cloth and simply bound.
Love is a Special Way of Feeling by: Joan Walsh Anglund
It is such a special little book, with the best illustrations, although the illustrator is not named. The story is simple and communicates one thing, love. It does not affix love to just one person or situation, but quietly reminds us of special moments that warm our hearts and define us for who we are. My favorite passage is found directly halfway through the book.
Love is found in unexpected places …
It is there in the quiet moment
when we first discover
a beautiful thing …
when we watch a bird
soar high against
a pale blue sky …
from Love is a Special Way of Feeling by Joan Walsh Anglund
Happy Easter! Oh, and I do continue to work on this charcoal. I present The Hungry Bird. It is not done yet, but I will continue to share my progress on it.
The Hungry Bird, done in charcoal, by Mary Champagne
An Observant Cardinal: in watercolor and charcoal By: Mary Champagne
January 25, 14: My daughter did not feel well today and in my concern for her, I just could not seem to do any of the things that I was suppose to. When she had decided I could leave her side, I went to work on some birds. I was inspired to do a pendant. This past week, in the evening just before falling to sleep, I have been reviewing bird images, thinking about just what sort of bird poses and gestures would communicate best on a pendant. (A pleasant task.) I have been excited by the idea of *wearing* a framed delicate bird. Through a process all my own, I used charcoal and watercolors to create the image, then preserved and framed this one. Using up-cycled chains, I created a necklace from which the pendant will hang. I am excited by the results and will wear it this week to check the preserving process, but thus far I am hopeful.
Jan. 6, 2014: It is a cold and blustery day, in such a way that concerns me and makes me want my family to stay in one place and be safe. It is reported that this cold snap will be gone by the end of the week and this brings a sense of relief. Before our winter storm, we put out seed for the birds, but since it arrival the birds are all staying tight to their shelter.
In staying close to home, my daughter and I have spent a lot of time together. Ordinarily our days are full, something we have no complaint with. It has been nice to have the time to talk about nothing and spend time together without distraction. I like her and like to hear what she has too say. She tells good stories and did an excellent theatrical performance of, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late”, authored by Mo Williams.
Without distraction I have managed a couple of hours on this picture. It has been a pleasure to draw and hope it will be done by spring!
A bird’s development on a cold and blustery day. Charcoal on pastel paper, by Mary Champagne
Blue Bird’s Beginnings in Charcoal
Jan. 1, 2013: It was pointed out to me today that I am not being attentive and why do I interject where I do and when I choose not too. Well, I have no answer and I still don’t have one. Why do the things I do? It is apart of my nature. Can one change their nature? Why change it? Can a person have a bad nature? Of course I am working on this blue bird. This one which will take weeks to complete. It too is my shortcoming and will consume my time. I will pursue this little creature and what it brings to the end. I can not help myself nor it.
June 23, 2013: A little over a week ago my husband suggested, with snark, what is next a seagull? Well why not? On Lake Superior we saw seagulls that flew majestically diving and plucking fish from the open water, they were wonderful and beautiful.
Traveling Seagulls, charcoal and chalk on newspaper, Mary Champagne
I have a copy of Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull that my daughter and I have started reading. She is at just the right age where she still enjoys for me to read to her and short stories are not as satisfying as they use to be. I found the following quote moving and thought I would share it here:
“Instead of our drab slogging forth and back
to the fishing boats, there's reason to live!
We can lift ourselves out of ignorance,
we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence
and intelligence and skill.
We can learn to be free! we can learn to fly!”
Freedom Seagull, pencil and oil pastel, Mary Champagne
The Traveling Seagulls are on newspaper with charcoal and white chalk. The second picture is done in a soft pencil and the background is in oil pastel. I am still working out the oil pastel medium. I really like it, but don’t know how best to work it’s strong suits. (As I think this is the third post I have featured a picture where I have used it. Practice, practice.) I think it works well here. Oil pastel colors really pop, and I think here it adds interest and texture.
May 21, 2013: I have changed the header. For those interested on how I accomplished this, read on. I made use of my digital camera capturing an image of a charcoal drawing I had done last summer, use of ‘paint’, and determined an overall design. The pixel size for my header is 276 high x 1015 long. I had decided on the charcoal picture as I thought the grays and blacks would work well with the grays in the background picture. I also thought that the charcoal bird on the side would introduce the blog well. I took the digital picture of the charcoal bird and sized it to the proper height and placed it within the paint window. I had wanted a solid background on which to put the text. I used the ‘eyedropper’ tool in paint and grabbed a gray shade from the bird. I finally found the right shade of grade and painted in all the white. I zoomed in and cleaned up around the bird to give it a crisp and finished appearance. I added a crayon styled boarder and text. Tada, One Chickadee gets a new header! Yeah to paint!