May 12, 2015

Nesting Birds

        To my delight, chickadees have been busy at my birdhouse again, and it looks like the robin’s nest in the hawthorn will be occupied once more.  A catbird was seen entering the shrubbery with a load of fluff in its beak, and of course the dratted English sparrows are setting up house in all the gutters.  Yes, it’s nesting time here, and I’ll celebrate with a selection of relief block prints.
        First up, a nesting box by Mariann Johansen-Ellis.  We have one on a tree in the back yard.  It was home for house wrens one year, but was unoccupied last year.  The house favored by the chickadees hangs under the eaves of the front porch where I can watch them going in and out all day.
        Next is a funny little bird on its tidily swirled nest.  The lines that fill the background actually emanate from the tip of this bird’s beak, like sonic waves filling the air.  Stylized as this bird is, with its geometry, the simplicity of its beak and sketched-in wing, and the exuberance of its tail like a volcano or a tassel, it has a solid energy.  Sometimes these tiny feathered creatures do indeed seem to take over the airwaves disproportionately.
        Here’s my hummingbird, the only nesting bird I’ve done (and with only one left before it’s sold out.)  I’ve been toying recently with the idea of doing a portrait of my chickadees and their house, but so far it’s only images in my head and nothing has yet emerged onto paper.  As for the hummingbird, she’s on the nest in this print mostly because I didn’t know how to capture the movement of hovering at the feeder!  Also, though, I’m fascinated by the architecture and skill some birds display in their nests, and hummingbird nests are absolutely minute palaces with their precision craftsmanship and luxury materials.
        Finally, a pair of birds with their family-to-be in the nest.  This comes from a series of linoleum block prints of the twelve months of the year by John Hinchcliffe.  Naturally, this one represents May.  I don’t know what particular species they are, but they remind me of American robins.  The nest in our hawthorn is definitely not this tidy, though!

[Pictures: Nesting, linocut by Mariann Johansen-Ellis (Image from her Etsy shop linocutheaven);
Nesting Bird, linocut print by Karen Pirie (Image from Karen Pirie);
Hummingbird Nest, rubber block print by AEGN, 2012;
May, lino cut by John Hinchcliffe (Image from John Hinchcliffe Fine Prints).]


Mariann Johansen-Ellis said...

what a wonderful collection of birds and their nests! Thank you so much, for including my linocut in such gorgeous company! :o)) Mariann

Anne E.G. Nydam said...