Wow Factor

“Wow Factor” drawing 18.5 x 18.5 cm. July 2022

WOW! My eyes are happy when I see a scarlet robin.

A striking design of black, white and eye-popping red, the scarlet robin stands out. It is like a perching, flitting, flying and pouncing miniature Japanese lantern or Christmas tree bauble. (See the post If a Japanese Lantern were a Bird)

And I must say, Scarlet Robin, what big EYES you have…

During my Donnelly Verandah Residency in June I spent much of my time seeking out and photographing scarlet robins. I saw them in pairs, never right beside one another but not too far apart either. Each pair quietly worked its territory. I barely heard a sound from them.

Each robin stood stock-still as it concentrated on spotting food (insects, arthropods and spiders). Silent surveillance was followed by mid-air swoop (for flying snack) or pounce-to-ground (for walking/crawling/slithering snack.)

Rather than zooming in for detailed close-ups, I want to show the visual impact a scarlet robin makes within its tertiary-toned forest environment. This bird is enthralling to meet, watch, photograph and draw.

Female scarlet robin on a sign outside the general store. (Viewed from behind she blends in.)
Illuminated by morning sunlight a male (partner to the female above) glows on a branch.
A dash of scarlet in the brambles.
Bare branches in winter make him easy to spot.
I clock up many hours tiptoeing around with my camera.
This female is curious about my presence – and not a bit afraid.
Nobody is playing tennis on a wet day so the net is requisitioned as an insect-spotting vantage point.
Look ahead – one small bird performing his ablutions.
“Watch the birdie.”
Photoshoot finished. The birdie has flown.

Wow Factor” will be one of the artworks in “The 2022 Donnelly Verandah Residencies” art exhibition opening on 19th August at EARLYWORK in South Fremantle. Exhibition runs until 28 August.

5 thoughts on “Wow Factor

  1. Joy Rhodes

    Thank you, Julie! Such a pleasure to see these beautiful little birds and really look forward to seeing them in your upcoming exhibition.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Joy, thanks. I am one of six artists in the August exhibition and I will have four pieces on show. I hope to put out one more post (with the latest Donnelly drawing) in a fortnight.

  2. anna warren portfolio

    Such a wonderful splash of colour! The vibrance of birds’ plumage never ceases to amaze me – they always seem to be able to keep themselves so wonderfully groomed, always bandbox fresh. Your description of their behaviour really brings them to life – there is so much character in that eye, the little head cocked a bit to one side, ever ready for that snack to go flying past! These drawings are going to look great in the upcoming show – it will be interesting to see the take of the other five artists.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      I believe the exhibition will be interesting. I’m the only realist kind of realist – if you know what I mean. There will be a video installation, art on fabric – and all sorts of abstract interpretations. I think it’s going to be wonderfully diverse.


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