Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Going to the Birds

I have always loved birds – and especially bird images. Thinking about John Audubon drawing the birds that he found in this strange, new world gets my heart racing. How patient he was, how talented he was to search out these beautiful creatures and then capture them for eternity.

When I was beading full time I tried several times to make a beaded bird. For some reason this skill eluded me. I would try for awhile, then hate what it looked like and tear it all out. I had bead upon bead that I had collected for just this purpose only to find that I could not ‘do’ it. Sometimes you just have to set something aside and accept that this particular challenge cannot be met.

As I discovered punchneedle that nagging thought of creating a bird came back into my head and heart. Once again I was trying to create my very own bird art. I used a simple bird pattern and added spirals to the body for design and decoration. The only challenge I had this time was when it came time to put it together. I think that my whole body was one big stiff tension headache as I carefully stitched the two sides together. But ‘spiral bird’ went together and I had done it!!

I’m not totally happy with this first effort (but don’t tell the bird). He seems too ‘drab’ in his colors and there are other changes I would make (such as adding a few special details) – but he is finished and hopefully he will be the first of many more to come.

"Would it be possible that I should not in any degree succeed? I can scarcely think so. Ah delusive hope, how much further wilt thou lead me"? - John James Audubon


  1. The first of many more, for sure, and he is very unique! I know this took time and wasn't easy, especially putting him together, well done! It's good to see you are back.

  2. I like him. Yep, you are going to try more. Why do you think we like birds so much? I don't know, but I cringe at the thought of a bird in a cage...a parrot taken hostage for someones whim. Maybe I could bead a whimsical bird, but I think bird beading would be difficult.

  3. While taking a break from reading blogs for a couple of months, yours was one that I missed very much. So today, I've spent a little time reading back through your December posts, enjoying your pictures, art and grace. This bird post particularly moved me, partly because I love birds too and have also used bird imagery, feathers, bones, etc. in my art, but even more because I admire your respectful approach to creating an artful bird. Your spiral bird appeals to me very much. I think of it as a "her," as the less noticed, less photographed, less gaudy version of the spiral species, sweet and compelling in her own way.



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