Amy Ross’ drawings, watercolors and collages have a surreal effect. The drawings are rendered in the style of scientific illustration . It is not easy to distinguish at the first glance where the leg of the mushroom starts and the leg of a human being begins. People’s heads are morphed with mushroom legs and birds are actually flower buds on magnolia trees - Amy plays with similarities and differences of nature’s shapes.
Legshroom With Bird
collage on paper
10 x 8 inches
Bullfinch (Снегирь, snegir) is a small bird with big round red belly that lives across Europe and Asia. It is widespread in Russia and one can spot lots of them in Moscow city around winter time. Bullfinch birds travel from Siberia to warmer climate of Moscow during winter. They eat mostly red Rowan berries that keep hanging in multiples on Rowan trees even in coldest days. It is quite beautiful to see many red birds around red Rowan berries juxtaposed on the winter snow. Birds look like huge red berries lost in many little ones. I even think that is why the word red in Russian comes from the word beautiful.
I found this ceramic cup that definitely has a watercolor of bullfinch bird on it by Helen Beard, ceramicist and a watercolor artist from England:
I love California quails and quails in general. This is what is it says on wikipedia about California quails: “The California Quail is a highly sociable bird that often gathers in small flocks and one of the daily communal activities is the taking of dust baths. A group of quail will select an area where the ground has been newly turned or is soft, and using their underbellies, will burrow downward into the soil some 1-2 inches. They then wriggle about in the indentations they have created, flapping their wings and ruffling their feathers, causing dust to rise in the air.” (so cute!!!)
I love Ptarmigans. Ptarmigans are sedentary species, breeding across arctic and subarctic Eurasia and North America. The Ptarmigan is seasonally camouflaged; its feathers moult from white in winter to brown in spring or summer. Ptarmigan’s feet are fully feathered to maintain body heat and to act as snowshoes during winter.
One of my my favorite drawings by Carson Ellis, artist from Portland, Oregon.
Recently I found an old book by Konstantin Paustovsky called Stories and Tales About Forests. The stories are short, meaningful and sincere; filled with long descriptions of the morning dew in the forest, first snow or pine trees scent. The stories have this utopian idealism, kindness, sensitivity and and unity with the world which can be found in some soviet movies, ideas and literature. I wish I could translate some stories into English but the only one I found is in Russian. It is called A Farewell to Summer and it is about going to sleep, waking up and finding all the world covered in snow out of the window.
To read a full text version of A Farewell to Summer in Russian:
Brooklyn parrots are wild Monk Parakeets (or Quaker Parrots) native to the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries. The Monk Parakeet is globally very common as a pet.
There are many theories about why these parrots live in Brooklyn - from sinking ships, overturned trucks; Hurricane Gloria in the mid-1980s. The theory with the greatest credence among ornithologists is that a shipment of parrots destined for sale at New York area pet shops was accidentally released at Kennedy Airport in the late 1960’s . Anyway, there are lots of Quaker Parrots living in Brooklyn and for some strange reason they love it here. Maybe because the pizza crumbs are so good. Or the art scene. Actually, the reason these tropical parrots can survive cold winters in New York City is because they build giant commune nests in which about 10 - 15 parrots can fit in and warm each other during these winter months.
There is a blog dedicated to Brooklyn Parrots: brooklynparrots.com illustrating parrot life. You can even take a free Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari in Brooklyn College.
Steve, the founder of Brooklyn Parrots website and blog, believes that Brooklyn parrots are not an evil “invasive species” but a welcome replacement for the Carolina Parakeet, hunted to extinction almost a century ago. ” The last wild specimen of Carolina Parakeet was killed in Okeechobee County in Florida in 1904, and the last captive bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918” -wiki. I agree with him Steve .
* Above: extinct Carolina Parakeet
Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell Library of Ornithology is surrounded by Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary that is teaming with birds and plants. More than four miles of trails wind through a variety of habitats used by birds and other wildlife. The library itself has one of the world’s largest repository of wildlife sound recordings, contains over 160,000 individual recordings representing more than 50% of the world’s bird species. When you walk into the library you see giant books of beautiful old life-size illustrations of birds, photographs of birds and long aisles on books about birds. Cornell Library of Ornithology is an amazing place to visit.
I love short stories by russian author Sergei Kozlov. This story is called Good Elephant (I am sorry about translation. It was translated through Babelfish). On snow covered cold February, Hedgehog has been trying to heat the furnace for days and nevertheless he could not get up in the morning - it was that cold in the house. “Is this a punishment? “- muttered hedgehog, putting paws into the felt boots and getting up from the bed. - Another week and I will burn all the firewood I have and freeze! ” Hedgehog shuffled burned wood, moved aside shutter and started new fire. Hedgehog started thinking about his disastrous position. “Forest is completely covered with snow”- he thought - “All the small trees are under the snow and I cannot cut down a big tree. “It would be nice if Bear came over. He has a sharp saw and special sleds to carry firewood. Donkey and Bear would come and say:“Hedgehog, probably you have no more firewood? Let’s go collect more! ” Hedgehog thought: I would make them tea.. But now… Bear is probably asleep and does not even think about me… ” Hedgehog became so sad, that he tossed up two additional firewood and began to look at the flame without thinking. Furnace was burning, the house became very warm, and hedgehog no longer believed that firewood can end and that he might freeze. ” Hedgehog started dreaming: “Firewood will end and I will begin to freeze. The elephant in the zoo will find out about this and he will come running into the forest, find my house, insert his trunk into the chimney and instantly it will become warmer from his breath. I will say: ” Thanks, elephant for giving me your heat. Now go warm up my friend Bear - he probably also has no more firewood… Elephant will run away from the zoo each night and breathe into my chimney, and my friend Bear’s too, so we would not freeze”. While Hedgehog was dreaming of this, the frost, wind and cold grew harsher. Hedgehog’s firewood soon entirely ended. For the last time he warmed up the house very well, piled up all the blankets on his bed, put on a wool coat and felt boots. Then, he climbed under his blanket mountain and began to wait. First it was hot, and then, when furnace cooled, it became very cold. With each hour it became increasingly colder. ” I w-w-wiish elephant would come here f-f-f-aster-r-r ! - whispered Hedgehog, rolled as a bagel under his blankets. Frozen Hedgehog could not even whisper anymore because of cold but the elephant still did not come… - Elephant-t-t! - called Hedgehog. - I am f-f—freezing… ar-r-rive, p-p-p-lease, elephant! Hedgehog called elephant three days and two nights. But on third night he became warmer. So warm that he even took off his wool coat and felt boots. This is because the cold finally started leaving. To Hedgehog, it seemed as though an enormous elephant has been walking between pine trees and breathing into his chimney.
Yeni Mao is an artist currently living and working in New York City. He works in painting, drawing, sculpture and installation. Yeni created ceramic vase that is two siamese birds with no heads. This is a weird and extremely beautiful object that changes meaning when flowers are put into the vase.
Walton Ford’s paintings are “as much a tutorial in flora and fauna as it is as a scathing indictment of the wrongs committed by nineteenth-century industrialists or, locating the work in the present, contemporary American consumer society”
Isn’t it amazing how everybody can send greeting cards through internet nowadays? This artwork is by CHARLEY HARPER. Happy fall and winter season!
Diana Sudyka’s watercolors are amazing. A lot of her drawings and watercolors are of birds and animals. She makes high quality, limited edition archival inkjet prints of her works on sustainable, archival, bamboo paper.