Stories from my Sketchbook . . .
I have spoken before about the surfeit of birds in my garden. On any normal day I see dozens of them—magpies, noisy miners, wrens, sparrows, and pigeons along with their more colourful brethren—rosellas, lorikeets, galahs, King parrots, and even the occasional cockatoo. And those are just the ones that frequent my garden. If you go down to the end of the street and on to the river, then you have all the water birds—the waterfowl, the pelicans and the gulls. There is just no getting away from them. (I wouldn’t recommend you settle here if you suffer from ornithophobia . . .)
So when I found out that my art homework this week was to do several studies of birds I thought ‘You beauty . . . ‘ as I knew there would at least be plenty of subjects to choose from. I didn’t expect the actual assignment to be easy though. I have never even attempted to draw birds from life before for the simple fact that they are so beautiful, and so complex, I was sure I would never be able to do them justice. (That and the fact that they move too fast, and, of course, if they know you are watching them they move around even faster, just for spite.) But I was willing to give it a go, and went and filled up the bird-feeder as enticement and sat down to wait . . . and wait . . . and wait . . .
So much for expectations. I should have known better. The word had obviously gone out that Sally would be out and about, sketchpad in hand, and so the birds had all got together and decided it would be a bit of a hoot (no pun intended) to stay away in droves. Sigh. I spent most of the weekend hovering by the kitchen window, peering out at the birdfeeder, waiting in vain.
Late on Sunday afternoon, just as the light was fading, one of my little rosella friends finally showed some mercy and came and sat for me for a while. He even had the grace to look a little apologetic . . .