Tag Archives: Birds


I have to admit that I like water birds.  We have a long-running joke in my family that any time we’re on a vacation by the Great Lakes, someone has to take a picture of a seagull.  My dad thinks seagulls are bothersome and homely, and he’s right.  However, I love their call and their presence when we visit Duluth.  Duluth, MN is one of my favorite places in the world to visit.  My parents honeymooned in that area, and they took us kids there when we were very little, and it’s been a favorite place ever since.  I’ve never seen any ocean, so Lake Superior is as close as I’ve been to such big water, and I must say, I don’t mind.  It’s such a majestic place to be.

Ah, but I’m getting all nostalgic now.  Let’s get back to the topic of this post, shall we? 🙂

This is a sculpture I created for Ashley for the Arts.  The inspiration for this piece started at a “barn sale” I went to back in May.  It was essentially a thrift sale that was held in a shed.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find too much, but I did find a massive bag full of vintage hair pins and curlers.  Among them, there were dozens of these old hair rollers.  In other words, beaks!

I don’t usually put my sculptures on any sort of base or stand, but this guy is pretty front-heavy, and his feet were not sufficient to hold his weight, so I had to think outside the box to make him sturdy.


-Measures (with wooden base) 8 1/4 inches tall x 5 inches long (this is the length of the bird from beak to rump) x 3 inches wide (this is the wooden base).  The bird, itself, measures 5 1/2 inches tall.

-Made with 17 gauge steel fencing wire (some silver wire again, at last!), some 20 gauge steel wire, and some 22 gauge steel wire, I believe.  It has been some time since I made this guy, so I’m not positive about the wire gauges anymore.  The beak is an old hair roller, and is even marked with the brand name Goody, which is cute, don’t you think?  He has caught a fish, as you can see.  It’s a small metal charm of some sort, which I wired into the pelican’s beak.  Oh, and his beak is workable, by the way.  You can open it like a clothespin.  The neck and body are solid wire, and the spindly legs are made of metal pieces I harvested from a necklace.  They’re ridged and shiny, and I liked that they were so slender, because those water birds seem to walk on toothpicks!  The feet are antique metal pieces I purchased in a lot online.  The feet are screwed to the wooden base so that they’ll stay put.  The base, by the way, is a furniture “foot” that I had on hand, which was painted it with a turquois paint.  Despite having the feet screwed down, the pelican still wanted to sag forward from his weight (it must be that giant fish), so I had to figure out a way to stabilize him.  In the end, a hole needed to be drilled into the wooden base, and a thick wire inserted into it, covered in strong glue. I clipped off the wire so it reached the base of the pelican’s neck.  I then wired the stabilizing wire and the neck together so the pelican could rest its weight there.  To disguise the wire, I then went all-out nautical and wrapped that stabilizing wire in jute so that it looked like rope.  And finally, I hung a little sign on the post advertising fresh fish.  Very fresh, in this pelican’s opinion.  I found a free-use fish illustration and typed the Fresh Fish sign, and printed it on a natural, sandy background, cut it out, and put it into this glass window frame that I bought at an art store.  Ah, at last, I think I’ve covered all the materials for this sculpture.

Finally, I have to share this photo.  As I was doing my photo shoot of the pelican, this dainty little fly landed on its head.  I thought it made for an interesting shot.

Pelican 1 CR

Thank you for looking!


Posted by on October 11, 2015 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media


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Pretty Bird

Among my smallest sculptures, this little bird is still quite showy.  With her glamorous wings and elegant, slim tail feathers, she is happy and full of cheer.

Pretty Bird

– Measures 2 1/2 inches tall (to tips of tail feathers) x 1 3/4 inches long x 1 inch wide.

– Made with 19 gauge dark annealed wire, and fine black wire for the body, and fine silver wire for the legs.  The wings are leaf-shaped pendants, and the tail feathers are, indeed, slim feather pendants.  The beak is a little silver embellishment that is the shape of …for lack of a better term…a chocolate chip. 😉

Thank you for looking!


Posted by on September 26, 2015 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media


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Jewel Thief

I’m not saying this bird actually is a jewel thief, but with his glamorous wings and tail, it looks pretty suspicious, doesn’t it? 😉

Jewel Thief

– Sculpture measures 7 inches long by 4 1/2 inches high by 2 1/2 inches wide.

– Made with 16 gauge dark annealed wire, 19 gauge dark annealed wire, 24 gauge steel (silver colored) wire for the legs and beak, and some other sizes for other various parts of the bird.  The tail feathers are – you guessed it – metal feathers taken from an old necklace, and the wings were a set of angel-shaped wings that were originally a single piece.  I clipped them in half, because I always imagined a bird with the wings, and cleaned them up, as they were very, very green and gunky from age!

Thanks for looking!


Posted by on July 31, 2015 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media


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Surprise!  I’ve been keeping this pen and ink drawing to myself, and now that it’s complete, it is time to share it here.

Whether it’s my farm girl roots or a coincidence, I seem to draw a lot of farm animals.  I love the legacy of farming, and the animals that go along with it are a big reason for that.  Plus, bonus, people seem to love farm animals, be it a horse, cow, pig, goat, dog, cat, duck, or chicken.  Thus, my rooster was a long time coming. 🙂


– This drawing measures 5×7 inches, and is drawn on Strathmore 500 series Bristol Plate paper.

– Drawn with Sakura Pigma Micron pens, ranging in size from 005 (primarily), 01, and a tiny touch of 03 for those inky blacks.  When I first used Sakura Pigma Micron pens, I felt they were very inky and a little out-of-control feeling.  However, the rich, warm blacks they produce are unsurpassed by any pen I’ve tried so far, and I have a fair collection of different brands of pens.  These are great!

Rooster WIp Finished - CR

A short video of the work-in-progress.

And a couple of close-up photos.

Rooster WIp Finished - Copy CR

Rooster WIp Finished - Copy (4) CR

I hope you like the drawing.  Thank you for looking! 🙂


Posted by on May 22, 2015 in All Artwork, Pen and Ink


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A Pig, a Peacock, and a Giraffe

The title sounds like the start of some lame joke, doesn’t it?  Here’s the thing, I’ve done quite a few new sculptures, and I just haven’t had the time to make a post for each one, so I’m doing a big bundle of sculptures in one post.  I hope you don’t mind. 🙂  So, let’s start with…


A friend of mine once generously sent me a box of “junk”, embellishments, buttons, beads, and etc.  In this delightful package of goodies were a stash of wood beads.  The more I looked at these beads, the more I could picture those stubby horns that giraffes have on their heads, so I went along with the idea and this is what came of it.

– Made with 17 gauge steel fencing wire, as well as finer wire for the face and for attaching embellishments.

– I used numerous embellishments for this one.  The wooden beads, as mentioned before, made great horns.  I used beads from an old necklace for the sort of oval ears (it was no easy trick attaching these beads either – wire, glue, finesse, and luck were all needed to get them in place).  The mane is a twinkly beaded chain, the same as I used for my draft horse sculpture, if you remember.  It seemed to suit this giraffe nicely.  The tail has a short length of chain to animate it a little bit.

– Measures 8 inches long by nearly 11 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches wide.


I’m not sure how many of you have seen a peacock in real life.  There is an exceptional beauty living at a local wildlife park.  I’ve seen him a couple of times this year, and have many photos of him.  What a display they have when they fan their feathers!

– Made primarily with 17 gauge steel fencing wire, as well as finer wire for the details of the head and for attaching the tail feathers.

– I used random pieces from a necklace for the tail feathers, and a metal gear embellishment (which I cut down to the right shape) for the crest feathers.

– Measures 3 inches long by 3 1/2 inches tall by 4 inches wide.


And finally, we have the pig.


I’ve been doing a lot of pig sculptures lately.  There’s something charming about the stout little humble creatures, isn’t there?

– Made with 17 gauge steel fencing wire, as well as finer wire for the face and tail.

– The leaf pendants I used on my original pig sculpture seemed so right for pig’s ears, so I used some more for this lady.  Yes, I think this is a lady pig. 🙂  The nose is a pink button, and the tail is simply wire wrapped and shaped.

– Measures 7 1/2 inches long by 3 1/2 inches tall by 2 1/4 inches wide.

I hope you like these three sculptures.  Thanks for looking!


Posted by on September 7, 2014 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media


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Spring and the Wildlife it Brings

It’s a beautiful time of year.  The leaves are open, the grasses are growing, and there are animals moving and grazing and raising young everywhere.  It’s that time of year where my camera goes with me almost everywhere.  You never know what you’ll find!

It’s also been a good year for new sights.  You may remember the bear and her cubs that I was lucky enough to get on camera.  I’ve also seen Sandhill Cranes, Canadian Geese, Woodpeckers, Robins, Squirrels, Toads (noisy, singing toads), Bullfrogs, Redwing Blackbirds, Butterflies, Houseflies, and other insects.  While houseflies don’t sound too exciting, I was pretty happy to get some up close and personal shots of them.

I’ve also been really enjoying my new Macro lens.  I’m still practicing and getting used to it, but I think it’s going to be a truly essential addition to my photography equipment.  What am I saying?  It already is. 🙂

I hope you enjoy seeing some of the local wildlife in these photos I’ve taken.  All but the Sandhill Crane were taken here on our land.  It’s amazing what you find when you open your eyes!  There is one photo of a blackbird in flight with his beak open.  Look closely, and you’ll see an insect flying in front of him.  I have a feeling that insect was lunch!

As for the not-so-local animals, I recently went to a wildlife park nearby and saw the most amazing fanning peacock.  He was gorgeous and mesmerizing to watch.  I hope you enjoy the photos of him, as well as a couple other animals I saw there.  I think the hyena is a rather handsome creature. 😉

Thanks for looking!


Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Photography


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Sketches of a Horse, a Hen, an Eagle, and a Longhorn

I’ve been trying to sort of kick-start my creativity lately, so I’m doing quick sketches to try and spark some ideas and inspiration.  I’m also sketching so that I can say to myself, yes, I did draw today! 😉

These took about 10 minutes to a couple of hours each, with the horse sketch taking the longest.  The hen and the longhorn are both done with Faber-Castell Pitt markers, and the eagle and the horse are graphite.  After playing with graphite again, I wouldn’t mind doing a fully fledged drawing with it again.  Once upon a time, graphite was my go-to medium of choice.  Once I tried out pen and ink several years ago, I fell in love, and the graphite took the back seat.

I’ll admit that I am currently working on a new drawing, and this time with a new medium: clayboard.  More on that later. 🙂

These were all done in a Strathmore Field sketchbook, and measure roughly 7×9 inches in size.

Thank you for looking.  Happy first day of spring!

Eagle Sketch CR Hen SketchCR Horse SketchCR Longhorn SketchCR


Posted by on March 20, 2014 in All Artwork, Sketches


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