Tag Archives: crested tern

On the Rocks

“On the Rocks 1”

“On the Rocks 2”

The latest additions to my drawing series headed for Kidogo Arthouse in September 2017 are “On the Rocks 1” and “On the Rocks 2”.    These drawings will be the smallest in the exhibition at 195 x 200 mm each.

In the past three weeks I have been to New Zealand and back twice.  Each time I flew, one of the drawings went with me so that I could work while away.  These well-traveled crested terns were worked on in airport transit lounges, my sister’s house in Wellington and in the hospice where my brother was being cared for in Christchurch.  It was calming to scratch away with pencils in the unusual circumstances in which my drawings and I found ourselves.   They were both completed back home in my studio.

When holding an exhibition it is good to have a range of art sizes.  Not everyone has huge wall spaces (or wallets) for one’s major works.  A small sized drawing (or two) may be just the ticket for an intimate space.

“Entranced” opens on 7th September at Kidogo Arthouse on Bathers Beach, Fremantle.

 

Just Looking

"Just Looking" Coloured pencils and Neopastels on Arches Aquarelle smooth. 195 x 375 mm. February 2017

“Just Looking”
 195 x 375 mm. February 2017

Scattered between reconnaissance missions and precision dives for fish are periods of standing still – while ever-ready to take off again in an instant.  The tern regards his environment as the light fades around him on a summer’s evening in Fremantle.

The drawing “Just Looking” is a combination of coloured pencils with Caran d’Ache Neopastels on Arches Aquarelle smooth watercolour paper.

 

Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

Matthew and I met some delightful winged New Zealanders during our recent South Island trip.  Some of them were natives while others were immigrants.  Here are a few of those encounters; some composed with time to spare, others nabbed on the go – all photographed with love and respect.

09.02.17:  We begin on the east coast of the South Island…

09.02.17 : A southern black-backed gull and his shadow add to the horizontals on Birdlings Flat beach.

A southern black-backed gull and his shadow add to the horizontals on Birdlings Flat beach.

On the stones at Birdlings Flat is a young white-fronted tern.

On the stones a juvenile white-fronted tern and I regard one another.

12.02.17:  Further south at Waitati near Dunedin…

At Waitati a tui leaps out of a bush. Tui have been called "Parson Birds" because of their white 'clerical' feathers at their throats.

A tui leaps out of a bush. Tui are also known as parson birds because of the white ‘clerical’ feathers at their throats.

14.02.17:  Makarora is a forest-and-mountain place deep within the South Island, towards the west coast…

14.02.17: Fantails are tiny birds and extremely fast. Most certainly this one had a sense of humour. She led me on a merry chase as she danced all around me, making it almost impossible to capture her image.

Fantails are tiny birds and extremely fast. This wee bird leads me on a merry chase, dancing all around me, making it almost impossible to capture an image.

She looks me straight in the eye for a split second - and then she is off again, darting all around me.

A look straight in the eye for a split second – and then – off again, flitting in every direction.

Another tiny little forest bird is the South Island tomtit...there one second, gone the next.

Another tiny forest bird is the South Island tomtit…there one second, gone the next.

A New Zealand bellbird feeds from a flowering flax bush. This bird has such a beautiful song.

A sweet-voiced New Zealand bellbird feeds from a flowering flax bush.

One of the more colourful native birds is the wood pigeon. I see this bird rather like Sylvester sees Tweetie in "Looney Tunes"- like a live pot-roast.

One of the more colourful native birds is the wood pigeon…a perfect accompaniment to any tree blooming with fruit or berries.

New Zealand birds are often hard to see. They are shy and well camoflagued.

Some New Zealand birds are hard to see, being shy and well camouflaged.  I nearly miss this bellbird – who I think is a fledgling.

Where's Waxeye? Another great example of camouflage at work.

“Where’s Waxeye?”  Another great example of camouflage.  Sometimes I think I am alone, only to turn and see that I am being watched by a small pair of eyes.

Tui are the most excellent singers in the bird world. They pick up the sounds they hear and incorporate them into their complicated repertoire. I stood still and listened to this tui for several minutes.

Tui are most excellent singers.  They pick up the sounds they hear (such as telephone rings or machinery noises) and incorporate them into their complicated repertoire. I stand quietly and listen to this tui – in awe – for several minutes.

Tui are mesmerizing.

Tui are striking to look at as well as listen to.  They rush through the trees chasing one another at terrific speed.  It looks as if they are having a good time.

You might need to study this photo for a moment. Can you see it? A wood pigeon has a whole plum in its beak. It swallows the whole thing in one gulp! Incredible.

A wood pigeon has a whole plum in his beak. And then he swallows it in one gulp…just like that.

15.02.17:  We go through Haast Pass to Bruce Bay on the exposed west coast …

A something

A pipit on the shore where river meets sea at Bruce Bay.  All along this walk are blackberry bushes (blackberries on photo’s left).  I eat blackberries as I wander along.

15.02.17: I'm also crazy about Southern black-backed gulls. They are large gulls, rather like small albatross; very elegant. Here is the second 'flying gull with shadow' photo of this set, only this time over a frothy sea.

Southern black-backed gulls are elegant large seagulls, rather like mini albatross.

Water-splash! These waves were pounding in like fists, but the gull is perfectly at home.

Water-splash! These waves are pounding in like fists, but the gull is perfectly at home.  (And what is a bit of splashing water to a gull anyway?)

16.02.17:  At sublime Lake Matheson near Fox Glacier…

16.02.17: A pukeko is a New Zealand swamp hen. When I was a child I used to look out for them when we went on car trips.

A pukeko is a New Zealand swamp hen.   The colouring is attention-grabbing, the very opposite of camouflage.

Matt and I noticed that the pukeko used its feet in the gathering of food.

We notice that the pukeko uses its feet like tools – in the gathering and consuming of food.

The chaffinch is an introduced bird, brought over from Europe in the 1860s.

The chaffinch is an introduced bird, brought over from Europe in the 1860s.

THE END – but not the end.  Back home in Fremantle, Western Australia – and the birds are great here as well…

A couple of crested terns down at the port, photographed a few hours ago.

A couple of crested terns down at the port, photographed just a few hours ago.

“Thank you, Birds!”

Afterword:  Wherever in the world you are reading this from, next time you step out of the house or apartment listen to your local bird sounds.  We all take them for granted.  Because I’ve been working on this post for a couple of days, I am suddenly aware of the bird tweets, cheeps, trills, warbles, chatter, squawks, cries, honks, quacks, shrieks, hoots and melodious song around my home.  You can’t imagine a world without birds.  So tune your ears to their frequency…and be thankful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transit Lounge

"Transit Lounge" 200 x 230 mm February 2017

“Transit Lounge”
200 x 230 mm
February 2017

Just as we humans wait in designated areas of airports for connecting flights, so birds have their own transit lounges where they rest.  Time for a little preening, gathering of breath, formulating plans, or just looking about.

At the port of Fremantle there are plenty of transit lounges, each a perfect size for one bird.  From my observation, a flying-in bird will kick off a lounge-occupying bird. “You’ve had your turn, Tern.  Hop it!”

Fly in, fly out.



I will be having a break from posting for the next two to three weeks.

Rain Bird

"Rain Bird" a crested tern at Fremantle. 195 x 240 mm. January 2017.

“Rain Bird”
a crested tern at Fremantle.
195 x 240 mm. January 2017.

Do you remember that a few weeks ago I showed you a drawing of a flying tern?  I called the drawing “Liberation“.  Back when I drew that bird, I also began another drawing of  him (or her), standing on a post seconds before take-off.  The barely-begun drawing was interrupted by my trip to France so it sat in a folder until this week when I felt like returning to it.

Though it was pouring when I took the source photos, I hadn’t made any suggestion of rain drops in “Liberation”.  Also in that drawing I decided to leave out the post completely.  This time the rain drops and post are in.

Alternative titles for the two drawings could have been…

Tern On

Tern On

Tern Off

Tern Off

“Liberation” had already sold so I couldn’t compare the colours of the two drawings – until now – when I am viewing these two images together.  I wonder if all those Paris drawings done in between these two bird drawings had any influence on my treatment of “Rain Bird”?

I have so many source photos for Paris but I miss my birds AND Kyoto.  My various subject matters are going to have to take terns (I mean turns) so that I don’t mourn their absence from my drawing life.

Liberation

"Liberation" coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle. 195 x 240 mm.

“Liberation”
Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle.
195 x 240 mm.

On a rainy spring day at the port of Fremantle, a crested tern takes off.   I worked on this drawing during my September art exhibition, only returning to finish it yesterday.

After my sense of gloom at world events this week, it was comforting to come back to a drawing where I could enjoy the purity of a bird in flight.

“Liberation” came to me as a title, as I try to liberate my own spirit from the pool of collective anger, blame and worry over the disastrous results of the U.S elections.

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Seabirds of Fremantle

Pelican at East Fremantle

Pelican at East Fremantle

Last week I took the plunge and bought a new camera to replace my 2008 model Nikon D90.  The new camera is a Nikon D7200 with an 18-300 mm lens.  I spent Thursday and Friday reading the manual.  During the weekend I took it for a test drive.  My subject – seabirds of Fremantle.

Silver gull with the port of Fremantle behind.

Silver gull with the port of Fremantle behind.

Cormorant at East Fremantle.

Cormorant at East Fremantle.

Darter at East Fremantle

Darter at East Fremantle

Cormorant

Cormorant in front of “Left Bank” café

Osprey at the very top of the lighthouse at North Mole.

Osprey at the very top of the lighthouse at North Mole.

Here you can appreciate that I was standing way below the osprey.

Here you can appreciate that I was standing way below the osprey.

Osprey in flight

Osprey in flight

Crested tern at North Mole

Crested tern at North Mole

Seagull in flight.

Seagull in flight.

Cormorant at East Fremantle.

Cormorant at East Fremantle.

Consensus:  The Nikon D7200 is an absolute dream – and – some bird drawings are inevitable.  I’m in love!

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