Monthly Archives: April 2010


broken peace in progress

Today I woke up at six because of my allergies and read some of David Quammen’s book, Natural Acts.  I snapped some pictures of a robin and worked a bit on the new embroidered piece.  The next work in the urban wildlife series:  the robin.  After narrowly avoiding death due to Cubs fanatic syndrome I found solstice at, Bookworks on Clark.  Now,  I’m  heading off to acupuncture to overcome it all with needles and candlelight.

this is how we roll

robin on diversey



Rock Dove Under Falcon acrylic on canvas

I used to paint like a crazy person.  When I stop thinking about what I see and just push paint around, I’m happy.  I’ve been trying to tap into that again.  If only I could paint bricks and garbage cans like I paint internal organs.   Overall, I don’t like this painting and I’m going to dive into a new embroidered project.  Time to whip out the needles!!!

what people have to say

The Question:

What do you think about pigeons?

The Responses:

“They are doves you know, with leather jackets on.”  -Jim

“Pigeons are a symbol of urban decay.  They are pollution colored.  People have strong feelings against pigeons.  I mean, most people hate pigeons.” -Claire

“I used to have not problem with them until I found out that the disease Leo contracted was from a pigeon.” -Rachel

“Rats with wings.  Yeah.  And I’d also like to eat one.  But only if you call it squab.  And I don’t like when they poop all over the train platforms so if you could clean that up that would be great. Also, I do like that messenger pigeon from WWI and want a messenger pigeon instead of a cell phone.” -Jason

“I don’t care for animals at all.  Period.  Dogs, cats, you know.  I don’t hate em but I don’t go crazy about it.”  -Elena

“I think they are flying rats.  My father got pooped on by a pigeon.”  -Laura

“I hate them.  They are like flying rats.”  Zach

“This is what I think about pigeons, as a city dweller.  Pigeons are city rats.  They sort of appear like scavengers.  They appear and clump up in groups and they eat and poop in the grass.  When you walk by there is a herd of them and they scatter.”  -Roberta

“I like that little noise they make.  Grrrgleoooh.  And I like watching their heads but that’s really a lot of birds, not just pigeons.” -Lisa

“I like birds.  You know, since we grew up having pet birds.”  -Trista

“A pigeons life seems pretty amazing.  They walk around they bob their heads they coooo like a rap song.  They eat food whenever they want.  They hang out with their feathered friends in hoards.  Seems like a pretty good life. Don’t you think?” -Liz

The Text:


pigeons eating and eating pigeons

With watercolor added from the sketch below.  I went to bookworks today and picked up a couple of relevant reads.  One being, Pigeons The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird by Andrew D. Blechman. From the back of the book and why I am eager to read on-

Worshipped as fertility goddesses and revered as symbols of peace, pigeons have advanced the course of science and civilization and have saved thousands of lives.  Yet today they are reviled as rats with wings. How did we come to misunderstand one of mankind’s most steadfast companions?  In Pigeons, Andrew D. Blechman travels across the United States and Europe, deep into the weird and wonderful world of fanaticism.  From a major race to a contest with thousands of bizarre and beautiful show birds, and from a live pigeon shoot to the nation’s oldest and biggest squab farm, he chronicles the bird’s transformation from beloved friend to feathered outlaw.  You’ll never look at a pigeon the same way again.

Woot Woooot!!!

The other one, The Medici Giraffe And Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power by, Marina Belozerskaya.  I feel like this will be a great, in the future read.

I just scratched this out.  It’s the plan for a painting and I think that the dumpster is just what this comp needed. I’d like to see this in paint first and then, I’m thinking I’ll dive into an embroidered version.

pigeon drawings

Just a simple graphite sketch.   I’m going to add watercolor tomorrow.

I looked at some recent photographs and sketched this with pencil in front of my computer with pastels.  Then, I finished it with micron pens and prismacolor pencils in the kitchen.

Today, I finished, The Rarest of the Rare Stories Behind the Treasures at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.  Then I picked up, Dry Storeroom NO. 1 The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by, Richard Fortey.

The Rarest of the Rare: Stories Behind the Treasures at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

For the slice of time they preserve in human events, we visit battlefields and historical monuments.  For panoramas of contemporary life-forms, we travel to zoos, botanical gardens, and wildlife reserves.  For knowledge of science and the humanities, we go to libraries and art galleries.  And for all of the above together, we visit natural history museums…

—-Edward O. Wilson from the introduction

Yesterday, while reading this book I discovered a name that I should already know, Alexander Wilson.  Wilson is considered the father of American Ornithology, a title I had previously credited to John James Audubon.  I am eager to look at more of Wilson’s illustrations and hopefully find one of the peregrine falcon. Wilson was particularly fond of the Carolina parakeet.  A handsome bird that appears both through illustration and taxidermy specimen in this book.  I learned that while traveling, Wilson kept a Carolina parakeet in his pocket, wrapped in a silk handkerchief.  The last Carolina parakeet died in its cage in 1918.  Now, I will do some more investigating into the life and work of Wilson.

Click on the image above to link to the google books text of, The Rarest of the Rare.

peregrine falcon studies

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