There is absolutely no point to this post, other than to say I love black swans. Most days I go walking at a big lake on the way home from work, and I love watching these guys as they paddle about on the water. They are majestic and comical all at the same time. At this time of year, when they are not consumed by the breeding urge, they are friendly and inquisitive, quite happy to waddle up to you and graze nearby or check out what you may have for them. Sadly, I don’t bring them food because I know it’s not good to do so (especially bread) and so I am a bit of a disappointment. Still, they seem to know me now and will hang out for a while if I sit on one of the benches or on the bank.
I love their little honks and whistles, their head-bobs-in-greeting and their lovely big feet. I love their upside-down feeding when their in bums are the air and their heads are underwater, feet paddling like crazy. I love their ballet stretches and their sleepy eyelids when they are dozing off. The way the water beads on their blue-black plumage, and those bright red beaks. Just beautiful.
“…Our bird plays a starring role in all this owing to a belief in Europe, dating back 2000 years to Roman poet Juvenal, that swans are invariably white. Like purple cows and flying pigs, the black swan was a symbol of what was impossible. In medieval Europe, unicorns had more credibility. Dutch navigator Willem de Vlamingh, by finding black swans in Western Australia in 1697, showed how risky it is to declare something impossible…”
I’m glad they ARE possible, and that I get to share their space with them. Come breeding season they are less inclined to be so welcoming but, even then, they are accommodating and patient, allowing a certain amount of intrusion into their little family groups. Cygnets are the most adorable things on the planet. Grey balls of fluff – it’s hard to imagine they will grow up to be something so tall and glorious. Don’t get too close though – you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a Mummy Swan’s wrath 🙂
I’ve been hanging on to this collage for a while and haven’t quite finished it (gotta paint the sides and finish off a bit of detailing) but it’s close enough…
I have it on pretty good authority that most ladylike mermaids keep a pigeon on their shoulder. It distracts the eye from one’s bosom, if one’s bosom is uncovered. However, this mermaid is particularly modest and keeps covered up. So her pigeon is more of fashion statement than a practical piece of adornment with a purpose. I’m not sure if the giant pink shell is a hat or just a thing she likes to carry around with her to match her outfit. Maybe it’s some kind of mermaid ninja throwing star or something.
Hope you and your weekend are weird and wonderful. Be Happy. Be You 🙂
Dr Seuss has the best quotes. In all the silliness of his stories, there is endless wisdom and truth, much of which makes far more sense than anything else going on in our world right now. Sometimes we need reminding that we are all unique and different – and that that is a GOOD thing – not something to be hidden away or changed. Who wants to be like everyone else? Not me! Although a little bit of “normal” would be nice from time to time. Just so I can interact with people on a regular basis and not have them wondering what planet I’m from, ha ha.
I created this collage for a special family member who celebrated a birthday last week. I worked on it for a few weeks, in between doing other things, and got it finished just in time. I hope she liked it. And can ignore the dots I smudged after the last word 🙂
Hope you are all having a good day – thank you for stopping in x
A bit brighter (and definitely pinker!) than my usual style, this one. But it is good for one’s brain to try new things and break out of comfort zones (I know this because I am reading about and researching neurobics right now for work – I might do a post on that another time). Besides, pink is a nice cheerful colour and who doesn’t need an extra dash of cheer these days?
I was particularly fond of this birdie because he or she was gripping a branch, which meant no cutting-out of tiny little toes and claws. Bonus! Last night I was cutting out tiny shoe-laces on another piece and nearly sent myself blind. Why do I do this to myself? And I am RUBBISH at using a craft knife (I have mentioned this before) – I am forever accidentally hacking pieces off that should very much stay attached. So annoying! Scissors are my friend (my faithful friend?), and I will use them in preference to anything else. I just have better control with them
Hope you are having a cheerful and bright day today – thanks for dropping by 🙂
Hello everyone. I hope you are well and enjoying the Spring or Autumn weather (whichever applies to you!). My thoughts and prayers go out to all those suffering in the midst of the hurricanes and whatnot that are happening right now. Dreadful business. I keep thinking about all the animals that will be lost and frightened (and of course the people who are in the same situation). So many terrorist incidents everywhere too. The world is just not a safe place any more. I sometimes think human beings are the least human beings of all.
Which brings me to my current arty obsession which is taking over my craft room (and life). I am still making lots of collages, but now a few of them are featuring characters from what I like to call my “Altered Tribe”. Part human, part animal or bird (or a combination of all three!), these “people” are a bit of an homage to Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up routine, where he said “To hell with the world, I can make my own people!” (when talking about becoming a parent). Well, sort of. Mostly, they’re just an indication of how much I like to cut stuff out (and usually give myself a headache in the process because I seem to always be cutting out teeny tiny fiddly bits).
I like to add wings to everything (you may have noticed this before) and antlers are also something I love. Who doesn’t love antlers??? They make things more magical and mythical somehow. Pop a pretty vintage lady’s head on a bird’s body and bung some antlers on and – hey presto! – you’re making your own people! I’m particularly fond of birds of prey – those big feet and talons are lovely – but wrens or robins, ducks or doves make me just as happy.
It can be tricky matching the right head with the right body etc. If they head isn’t angled in the right way, it can throw the whole thing off. So I spend ages going through my collage files to find just the right pieces to go together. Cue more headaches. I recently bought some nice old children’s books to cut up – they have lots of wonderful illustrations of all sorts of animals, birds and children.
So, I have lots of works-in-progress happening right now. I try and do lots of prep in the evenings so I can accomplish more on the weekends. I don’t want to waste too much time base-coating or fiddling about looking for pieces when I am in creation mode. I just want to get stuck in and make stuff.
This isn’t the first time I’ve made these creatures – they’ve popped up every now and then in my cards and collages over the years. But right now I am really enjoying bringing them into being and am loving sourcing new body parts! Gives me another excuse to trawl through op-shops and find more old books 🙂 I’m also trying to branch out into other critters – hares and horses and dogs, to name a few. There’s really no limit to what can be utilised and put together. So expect to see a few donkey-rabbit-fish hybrids!
I am a bit obsessed by crows. Crows, ravens, any black bird really. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know! I think part of me loves them because they can sometimes be the outcast, shunned and unpopular. People say all sorts of nonsense about crows. It wouldn’t be like that if they were pure white, or even brown. But black somehow makes them evil and cunning and bad to have around.
Working with them in art work can be tricky, because they are so dark. It can be hard to design something around them that incorporates that darkness. They will naturally be the focus of whatever you put them in, and tend to suit more monochromatic colour schemes, or darker hues at least.
To me, they suit a somehow spiritual, almost religious theme, and symbolise strength and self-belief, opportunity and thought. So, this collage came together with that in mind. Mr Crow here could almost be wearing a monocle and a top hat (damn – why didn’t I think of that earlier?!) – he’s very dashing and proud. He is definitely his own higher power. Ain’t nobody making him do anything he doesn’t wanna do – he makes his own decisions and has faith in himself! He answers (caw caw!) to no one but his own inner being. He is clever and brave and inventive.
He will, however, feel no shame at all about going through your rubbish bins, or eating gross, dead things off the road 🙂
Thanks for stopping by – have faith in yourselves today x