Tuesday, November 18, 2014


He just looked a bit forlorn sitting there in my sketchbook without his lovely orange breast...so I got out the watercolor pencils and added a little color here and there, brushing on water to blend and make the color come out.

Much better!

In case you want to hear the song Rockin' Robin (the original 1957 version), here is the YouTube link:

And here is the Jackson Five version YouTube link.

Now tell me that doesn't make you want to get up and dance?!?

And here are some bird pics from the recent snow - our first real snow of the year Sunday night/Monday morning = 4 inches on the ground and cold - but beautiful.  Have to put out extra food for my bird friends :)

A female Downy woodpecker.

Two goldfinches keeping an eye on the male Downy woodpecker on the tree.

And the resulting bird-shape in the snow from a hawk attack.  I was looking out the window when he or she swooped down, grabbed a Mourning dove, and took off, leaving this imprint in the snow.  It happened quickly!  (The cycle of life and death, all animals have to eat.)


Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Rhonda - I am so glad you added color to your Robin...just perfect with just a bit of orange. Loved seeing your beautiful birds too - like you I've been keeping the feeders going since we had about the same amount of snow. Take care and have a great day.

Alice Jo Webb said...

So, the blue ever so subtly adds another element to this that I really like. I'll bet vendors of art supplies see a sudden increase in blue pencil sales!!

This piece bears out my theory that simple compositions are often the most effective. I really like it.

Carol Flatt said...

Your robin is wonderful, Rhonda! I grew up in Washington state and we always had robins in the backyard. They were usually pulling worms out of the ground, but I so enjoyed their bright orange coloring! Just like yours! I, too, remember "Rockin' Robin." I know it'll be in my head all day now. ;)

RH Carpenter said...

Yes, he needed that orange breast to make him look more like a robin, Debbie. Our finches are still crowding the feeders (2) and they can empty one tube a day easily. When I start hearing more chirping, I know the feeders are getting low and they are fussing over spots on the posts!
Alice Jo, thanks. I could have erased the blue completely, but I didn't, allowing it to show through a bit. I wonder if they'll have a run on Col-Erase blue pencils? ha ha
Carol, thanks so much. Yes, usually they are pulling worms out of the ground, so comical when the worm is hanging on!! Some have changed their migration patterns and are around even in the cold winter weather here now - not sure why, but I have seen them coming to the feeders when the ground is covered in snow. Hope you dance while you're hearing the song!

AK said...

He is looking really handsome now.

Autumn Leaves said...

The robin looks even more handsome now, Rhonda. We haven't had stick to the ground snow yet. I heard we would have it today but not as of last time I looked out the window. Brrrr!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Asit and Sherry. Sherry, I can't believe you haven't gotten heavy snow yet - lucky! Did you see how many FEET of snow upper New York got? Good grief!!

Bruce Sherman said...

Good evening Rhonda... Simply Rockin'... is yer robin!Perky... cheery and bright!

Your backyard birding experience in the new snow parallels the activity in our own yard at present.

We had a shrike "strike" in our garden last winter. Right now the bluejays and sparrows are dukin' out over feeding rights because of the cold and deep snow I think! Fun to watch during our morning coffee hour!

Good Painting!
Warmest regards,

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Rhonda, I'm so enjoying your journey of sketching birds. John Muir Laws book is such a great tool! I love the section on bird feet and how it explains about the digits. They say the devil is in the details. Just like calligraphy, the study of bird anatomy and constant sketching to learn will help you leap one day to putting your own creative spin on birds and because you know the basics, no matter how creative, you'll have those little touches that make it read right. Bravo for your daily bird journey!

Seeing nature in all it's forms can be startling. We always feel an ache but you are right.... everyone one has to eat. We have just become used to grocery stores...

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks so much, Bruce!
You're right, Pam, just a little bit of knowledge every day (which is about all my mind can hold right now! ha ha) will get me there in the end - and there is so much information from him in this book.