Thursday, July 03, 2008

Saw Whet Owl

saw-whet owlI experienced an incredible confluence of events two weeks ago. In my town, there is a farmer's Market every Thursday. In my five plus years here, I had only been to it once. Then my daughter's playgroup decided to meet there (there is a playground right next to it). Things were going against us, though. We were supposed to meet at 10, when my daughter usually has her snack. I tried for an early snack, but then my husband forgot something and I had to bring it to him at work. So we showed up to this playgroup 45 minutes late, and I didn't see anyone I knew (lots of other people, though). I let her play for a while, then decided I should probably take a look around while I'm here. It was getting late, so a lot of vendors were low in stock or closing up. And then, I almost missed it. One tiny table under the trees, covered in pamphlets and a donation jar. A woman sat behind the table and at first I didn't even notice the tiny bird in her hand. It was an owl, not more than 5 inches long. I took their newsletter and read it. The Santa Fe Raptor Center rescues raptors and other wild birds that have been injured, rehabilitates them, and releases them back into the wild whenever possible. I offered my services as an artist.

saw-whet owl in colorInspired by their story about rescuing four saw whet owls (which I had not heard of) recently, I drew one sitting in an aspen tree. So while I wait to hear if they are willing to work with me, I will offer prints of this drawing and donate a portion of the sales to the Center.

A little about the drawing itself, the original is 11"x14" paper with mostly charcoal and a little carbon pencil. I wanted to try out the carbons, and I really like them. They are similar to charcoal, but much, much smoother. They blend nicely like charcoal, but are impossible to erase. I was a bit reluctant to use too much carbon on my first try, so it's mostly in the darker feathers just giving some extra detail. I'd like to use them more in the future. Then I decided to try something else new. I added a touch of colored pencil on top of the charcoal and carbon. I love this effect, just a little color, with all the detail still showing through.

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