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?

16 thoughts on “Blue Muse

  1. Robyn Varpins

    Well written Julie. One of the roles of art, according to Alain de Botton in his book “Art as Therapy”, is to enable us to see the Sacred in the Mundane.You have certainly done that!

  2. Lyn Paterson

    How true Julie! There is great wisdom in slowing down and seeing the beauty in all creation! Great artwork as usual! Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy 2022.

  3. anna warren portfolio

    It’s hard to believe the intensity of colour of these little birds isn’t it, but it is absolutely real! Your bird has a ferocious gaze – I think blue wrens have the equivalent of small dog syndrome in that they are very tough and quite aggressive, in my experience anyway, and your drawing captures that intensity of gaze so well. Your collection of photos (and I suspect these are the tip of the iceberg!) are wonderful. They move FAST and you do have to be quick to catch them. Finding these treasures in your own backyard must have been such a delicious surprise. Something like this can give a familiar area a whole new aspect and depth of interest.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Anna, I have started walking several times per week at Woodman Point without my camera. I go early in the mornings before the heat of the day. I enjoy listening to birds and insects and seeing the birds without any obligation to do more than merely enjoy their presence. Hence I see the splendid wrens very often now…more as small friends than creatures to be ‘captured’ for art.
      Oh I am glad you see a ferocious gaze in this one. I still have anxiety that these drawings will be too cute (that’s not what I want at all!) so that description of yours gives me comfort.
      I have come to realise that being at Woodman Point among the tuart trees is like being in a cathedral – but better. It gives me a sense of awe and helps me to focus outside my own faulty self.

      1. anna warren portfolio

        I think I am a pantheist – my own interpretation of that is seeing divinity in the natural world around us. It is not always easy to describe the sense of calm that being immersed in the natural world can give us.

      2. juliepodstolski Post author

        Thank you for giving me that word ‘pantheist’. I have now looked up pantheism. Somehow the word has evaded me all these 62 years – or I’ve evaded it. Your interpretation of it is exactly how I feel. When I do my daily walk I feel connected to the trees, birds and sea and comforted by them.

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