Happy Draw A Bird Day!

MREbird_for DABD

The demoiselle crane. Though it has a French name, this bird—the smallest of all the cranes—is native to northern Africa and parts of Eurasia, such as China and India.

This species, like other cranes, is celebrated in mythology and folklore. For example, Turkish folk songs fancy the bird a messenger of lovers (1). The creature’s graceful beauty seems ideally suited for such associations, even if my illustration fails to do it justice! By the way, demoiselle is French for “damsel.” This name was bestowed to it by one of the most famous queens in history. Marie Antoinette (2).

For illustrations of more feathered beauties, please check out Laura’s Create Art Everyday and Kerfe and Nina’s Method Two Madness. Laura started the monthly DAB Days, and Kerfe and Nina are doing the roundup of DAB Day illustrations from WordPress blogs. There will be links to a whole “flock” of drawings!

Sources:

  1. Kara, M, Teres, E. “The Crane as Symbol of Fidelity in Turkish and Japanese Cultures.” Milli Folklor. Yil 24, Sayi 95. p. 198–199.
  2. Mynott, J. Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009. p. 29.

 

 

 

Countdown to Draw A Bird Day

drawBird2016

April 8th marks the annual celebration of Draw A Bird Day. It began in honor of a girl named Dorie Cooper. Not only did she love to illustrate birds, but she also encouraged others—many of them hospitalized veterans—to do so. More about her story and short life can be found on the official DAB Day website.

As noted previously, this holiday is a memorial to Dorie’s enthusiasm for our feathered neighbors and the therapeutic value of making art. Fortunately for us, lots of people of all ages and walks of life continue to demonstrate how much fun drawing songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, and the like can be.

Many of these incredible folks are online. One of them is Laura at Create Art Everyday. In just the past year alone she has inspired a cadre of artists, photographers, and poets on WordPress to participate in regular Draw A Bird Days on the 8th day of every month. Kerfe and Nina at Method Two Madness have also been very active on this front. Their recent roundup of monthly participants can be found here. Some of the birds featured in March were a wood stork, pine grosbeak, American robins, bald eagles, blue jays, chickadees, egrets, herons, owls, and parrots. Please check them out, and also look soon for the upcoming roundup!

RMK_Grackle

I’m planning to contribute a drawing on the 8th, and my wife may post one for her blog, Red Newt Gallery. Since she also provides the artwork here, Draw A Bird Day occurs about every two weeks for her! Anyway, for this post we’re featuring an illustration from Kaeli, our neighbors’ talented nine-year-old daughter. You may remember her drawing from last year’s post about Draw A Bird Day. Many thanks to her again! Also, a special thanks to my mother-in-law for letting me post her recent painting of a grackle.

I’m looking forward to Draw A Bird Day. Hope you are, too!