Monthly Archives: December 2021

Small Wonder

“Small Wonder” – a drawing of a male Purple Backed Fairy Wren. 21 x 19 cm. December 2021

I have witnessed some big wonders – and drawn them with my coloured pencils. Big wonders in Kyoto, Paris, Venice, Rome, Milan and Florence – seen and drawn from multiple overseas trips prior to 2020.

In 2021 my new wonders are local and tiny, nevertheless they are as gorgeous as the Grand Canal, St Germain des Prés, or geisha of Gion.

My latest muses take patience and stamina to even get a glimpse of – let alone photograph. They lurk in tightly packed undergrowth and fly with kamikaze speed, pausing for mere seconds. The powerful zoom lens I recently purchased to get close-ups weighs a ton. Buzzing biting insects never leave me alone and the sun beats down leaving me hot and breathless. Phew! It’s hard work.

When I took Matthew to see the Purple Backed Fairy Wrens last week, he said we were observing ‘inner space’. I like that. He meant we were peering into a hidden world which many people are unaware of. ‘Inner space’ could also refer to a state of mind – a good, peaceful and receptive one perhaps.

Photos from last week of the Purple Backed Fairy Wrens…

Female Purple-Backed Fairy Wren

Fly away 2021. 2022 is about to land. I wonder what it will bring us? Happy and safe New Year Dear Reader!

Girl Power

“Girl Power” coloured pencil drawing of a female fairy wren 15 x 20 cm. December 2021

Male fairy wrens get all the attention – at least from us. Who can blame humans for being mesmerized by absolutely fabulous male fairy wren iridescent blues?

We tend to overlook the less colourful female fairy wren. But what is the splendid male fancy dress for if not to impress her? He cavorts in his finery and cajoles her to choose him. She considers her options. Maybe yes, maybe no. She picks her partner, she calls the shots.

It’s girl power!

Some photos I’ve taken of female fairy wrens. (You can see the males here.)

Female Purple-Backed Fairy Wren
Female Red Winged fairy wren
Female White-Winged Fairy Wren
A photo I took this afternoon at Woodman Point – the male Splendid Fairy Wren on the left and female on the right.

Blue Muse

“Blue Muse” Neocolor and Luminance, 18 x 20 cm. December 2021

It was only in August when I discovered fairy wrens lived just ten minutes’ drive from my house. I probably would have remained ignorant forever if Covid 19 had not closed our borders. No travel meant intense new interest in my own back yard. (Well, either intense new interest or stop making art altogether!)

From late August until the present I have made numerous trips out with my camera (and new zoom lens) to capture photos of fairy wrens. “Blue Muse” shows the Splendid Fairy Wren and is drawn from an early photo I took back in August. In September, October and November I also learned about and acquainted myself with …

Purple-Backed Fairy Wrens (at Pelican Point)

Red-Winged Fairy Wrens (at Margaret River)

White-Winged Fairy Wrens (at Mindarie)

The birds above are all males. (You can see the females here.) Female fairy wrens are much less colourful, mostly grey/brown with a bit of colour on their tails. The next photo shows a pair of Splendid Fairy Wrens having an afternoon siesta. You can appreciate why most people’s eyes are drawn to the males!

I photographed these birds in different areas around Perth and the South West of Western Australia. My nearest fairy wren neighbours are the Splendid Fairy Wrens who live at Woodman Point where I took the source photograph for “Blue Muse“.

My eyes have been opened. Through small birds I have come to love where I live more than I ever have before. Trees and bush which I took for granted are now given the reverence and admiration they deserve.

Who could believe that closing the door to interstate and international travel could open such a stunning world right before my very (local) eyes?