Some people might consider animal symbology to be bullshit (like horoscopes or any other sort of divine type readings) but I must admit that in the past, animals who carry certain meanings have crossed into my life at times that are too poignant to dignify their presence as just sheer coincidence. For example, this weekend I was visited by two woodpeckers. One at the beginning of the weekend here in Castlegar and one at the end of my trip in Windermere. Knowing that I had to travel to my cabin in order to put in motion a project that has been a long time coming, as well as using my creativity and the skills of my family to see things come to fruition, it makes sense that a few of these industrious birds paid me a visit. Here’s a short video of the one at my cabin: “When I hear the woodpecker knocking, I think of opportunity. You know the old saying ‘when opportunity knocks, answer the door.’ That’s precisely what I’m driving at here. Woodpeckers are extremely opportunistic themselves. Each tree is a door, revealing tender morsels of food (grubs and ants are their favorites). Other trees will yield against their beak-hammering to provide great mansions for their young…. The symbolic meaning of woodpeckers also point to a need for creative vision. Being opportunistic, woodpeckers can see value everywhere, even in dead trees. Have you ditched an idea or given up on a project? The woodpecker may be trying to tell you to breathe new life into your project, just as they build new homes into dead trees…..When this bird comes pecking, it is a call for us to return to our roots, back to the womb of our ideas and use our intellect and discernment to follow through with our plans.” (read more about the woodpecker here or other animal symbology here).
I’m so excited to be unveiling my latest body of work to you today! Pre-Birds is an on-going series of watercolor paintings that I’ve been creating; they are inspired by the gorgeous colors, textures and patterns of bird egg’s from around the world. Eight pieces have just been listed in my etsy shop (available for only $25 each), and more of these beauties are currently in process in the studio. Want to see other photos of these paintings and learn more about each egg? Just click on the one that you’re curious about!As I mentioned in my post earlier this week (which chronicled detail shots of 4 of the pieces above), I am an artist who is fueled by my fascination with line, texture, media exploration, and of course nature, so this series naturally developed from these personal interests. I have wanted to further incorporate watercolor painting into my practice for quite sometime, because I’ve used it mostly in mixed media pieces (especially my altered book work) but never much on its own. Exploring the wet on wet & dry on wet techniques, as well as playing with the layering capabilities of this medium has been an incredible, exciting and adventurous journey. I am hopeful that the varying marks, line weights, textures, and colors capture not only the luscious sensibilities of these beautiful bird eggs but also the delicate nuances of the medium itself. What do you think of my watercolor Pre-Birds?
It’s rare that I need to be reminded about how lucky I am; I have a really good life, I know it and I am ever so thankful for it. Living in this beautiful country, in a safe home and being able to stay in contact with the people I love dearly, makes every day a blessing. So when an occasion like my birthday comes along, I am reminded of this fact even more so. Below are the generous and very thoughtful gifts that my loved ones gave to me almost a month ago now, for my 26th birthday. I am definitely spoiled rotten. From top to bottom: 1.An incredible Dutch pop-up & interactive art book, Verborgen Vogels, from my sister & brother-in-law 2.Incredible cast bronze owl hook, from my sister & brother-in-law 3.Hand-me-down wedding books, from my sister. 4.Discarded library book gem found and re-lined by my sister: John James Audobon’s entire Birds of America 5.A constantly-waving Queen, powered by the sun, from Olivia Delorme & Nick Oostyen 6.An illustrated edition of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species (so much better than my previous words-only copy), from my mother and father 7.A really special piece that once belonged to my great grandmother: a carved ivory tusk depicting a beautiful herd of elephants marching in a line. My mother graciously handed down this antique to me, which was assumed to have been acquired by my great grandmother’s brother, who constantly travelled the world. 8.Books right up my alley: The Moon of the Bears, The Moon of the Owls and The Charlton Canada Stamp Album & Storybook, from Marcus Jackson 9.Stationery, art and craft supplies from Carney Oudendag, my mother and my sister. 10.Three vintage finds, National Geographic’s My First Pocket Guide: Woodland Wildlife, Canadian Nature Guides: Mammals and Some Canadian Birds, from Carney Oudendag. 11.Custom-ordered, hand-made leather fanny pack by Loves Jules Leather (arriving in June), from John Helm …See what did i tell you? I’m ridiculously rotten!