Recent Work: The Sparrow

Signed Bird #10 Sparrow

One bird that we have around here is the sparrow. Or, at least we have a bird around here that I take to be a sparrow. They are a very social bird and tweet a lot in the early morning chill when I amble down the lane to get the newspaper. I see them perched on phone lines and on the roof of my house. As you can see, my bird drawings have nothing to do with the kind of scientific drawing that you might find in a birder’s handbook. When I was in high school, I had to draw pictures of twigs and leaves for Biology. At the end of the year mine were handed back to me with orders to redo them if I wanted to pass the course. The drawings were not supposed to be textured or shaded. The lines were supposed to be one consistent width. I hadn’t done any of that as I made them studies in light. So, I sharpened a 4H pencil and redid them all and they were appropriately dorky. Years later, I found that a friend of mine had to do his drawings all over again too. Apparently, his second try wasn’t so hot either. I could never get him to draw a line. But, even though the biology teacher predicted a dire future for him, he went on to get his doctorate and became a noted scientist. So, it seems that whether a drawing passes muster or not seems to depend in part at least on its reason for being. In the particular case at hand, mine was to achieve the illusion of three-dimensional mass in a two-dimensional format. The drawing is in ink on mold-made archival paper.

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