For the March issue of Brighton’s Preston Pages magazine my piece, Dawn Chorus in the City was featured along with the illustration below:
The Preston Pages’ Dawn Chorus in the City was a shorter version of a piece that was originally published on the City Creatures blog and which I’ve now added to my other nature writing website, From the Fields and Woods. I wrote the piece last year and there have since been changes to the garden my flat looks down on.
In January our next door neighbour had some of our trees cut because she wants more light in her garden. i felt very sad about this and requested that as little as possible be cut so the garden was still a wildlife haven. Below you can see photos of before the cut and after. I’m used to it now but the trend in cutting down city trees saddens me whether they are in the street or in peoples’ gardens. I’m all in favour of a bit of wilful neglect so wildlife can flourish in peace – and I mean birds, foxes, badgers or whatever (I draw the line at rats).
It’s not so bad!
Anyway, I’d like to create a Dawn Chorus artwork beyond an illustration. So far I’ve created a candle lantern:
Here is an MP3 recording of the dawn chorus from my balcony:
With the box frame I decided to hide a poem, Nature by Mary Oliver, written on parchment paper at the back of the box frame behind the final picture. I like the idea of hiding messages and hidden art for anyone who can’t resist opening up the back of the picture.
Below are some images of the box frame process including the back page of the box frame. From the front all you can see of this layer is a bit of sky and moon, but it’s a complete picture that features more trees and a badger.
Here is another tawny owl picture that I might make into a card:
Pearlescent and moon-painted, dusk is falling. In a corner of the park a male blackbird perches in the naked branches of a sycamore tree, yellow bill, eye a ring of gold. He flicks his tail and starts to sing an enquiring, fluty song. Listen…
I’m very pleased to have a second piece of writing, A Song at Dusk, along with a picture in February’s issue of Preston Pages, one of Brighton’s free magazines :)
The original A4 illustration above is available to buy, unmounted, mounted, framed or unframed. Contact me if you’re interested.
People often leave furniture and bits and bobs in our street so one evening late last year I went out in search of some wood to make a shelter for the pigeon that had adopted us. The pigeon, who we named Beaky, had been sitting day and night in the corner of our balcony getting very wet.
I didn’t find anything suitable for Beaky but I did find a small bureau standing in front of a house with a notice on it saying “Free. Please Take.”
I phoned Kevin who came up with the car and we took it home. Here it is:
Now I have a new space to write and draw in among the plants. It’s become a special corner of the living room where I keep my wildlife treasures – feathers, eggshells etc, my art and writing bits and pieces all lit by a little paper star light my sister gave me for Christmas :)
I’ve been making papercut cards. There have been a few birthdays this month so it’s been good to make cards instead of buying them or using one of my printed cards.
First I made some of my greetings card images sepia in photoshop and printed them out, two of each.
I cut out the images and stuck them on to a folded pieces of white card, one outside and the other inside.
On the campfire card I cut out areas between the trees on the top layer creating a layered sepia card of a woodland campfire.
I played around with some of my other designs.
The glued image can snag a bit when cutting which doesn’t happen when I cut my altered books and box frames which may be because this card is quite thin. I’ll find a way of clean cutting them and try a few other things out soon.