Sunday, March 28, 2010

Painting #19, Painting #20, and Painting #21 - Studies of an English House Sparrow in the Snow





English House Sparrows foraging in the snow on our deck for sunflower seeds.

In an effort to catch up on my challenge paintings, I knocked off three little English House Sparrows foraging in the snow today. Yikes! That sounds terrible, doesn't it? Especially when you consider there are lots of people who really would like to "knock off" English House Sparrows because of all the havoc they have wrought on our native cavity nesters, but I actually have a soft spot in my heart for them. After all, they can't help they were brought to another continent and then flourished. My Grandma B used to call these little guys “Chippies,” and in the summer we would sit on her front porch and watch them take dust baths in the dirt by the driveway. To this day, every time I see one flapping around in the dust it melts my heart, and I think of summer evenings at Grandma’s house.

29 comments:

Montanagirl said...

Excellent renditions of the English Sparrow. We have lots of those in our yard too.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kelly, Since we don't seem to have the House Sparrows here --at least none in my yard, I don't 'hate' them like some people do. BUT--if they messed with my Bluebirds, they'd definitely be on my bad list...

Great paintings.
Hugs,
Betsy

Cherrie said...

Very Nice! I get lots of sparrows at my feeders!

Elaine said...

Kelly, I just love your paintings. The three of the Sparrows would make a wonderful triptych.

I'm thinking you need to be planning some kind of a show for when you reach your goal of 100. Oh, and put exhorbitant prices on them to show you have arrived. Then you can afford to buy more painting and camera supplies.

holdingmoments said...

You've caught their character really well there Kelly. For some reason they are in decline over here; but thankfully I have quite a few visit my garden still.

Penny said...

we have them here in Oz as well, sometimes I dont like them but one or two are ok, its when we get a whole flock and they eat all the chook food that I dont like them. Wonderful paintings, I seem to be not able to paint at the moment.

Garden Lily said...

Nicely done!

Phil said...

Nice paintings Kelly. Those poses are spot on.

Abraham said...

I had no idea you painted. These are well done, Kelly.

Or, are these done in Photoshop? I know people can do things like this in Photoshop and other programs. Corel Draw has a painter program that I have thought about getting but didn't want to spend the money.

These look more like water and pigment on paper though.

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
Wow these are magnificent!!! I love the second one a lot, but all of them are superb.... i used to paint using the oil painting methods, but i stopped when we moved to Iceland... You are giving me the need to go back to that ;-) Thanks for that!

Diane said...

Those dirt baths were so funny! It was a great porch for watching the birds. I really liked it on summer nights; she always kept a little light on in the kitchen and I thought it as magical walking through the living and dining room, only light coming from that small kitchen.

Kelly said...

...thanks, Mona!

...you're probably too woodsy for them. They really like to be around people. Yes...I too would be very sad if they ousted a nesting pair of bluebirds...

Cherrie...me too! Thank you!

Elaine...hahaha! You are too kind. (I would like to buy more camera supplies, especially that 500mm lens!) I hope I get there. I'm going to try my hardest. I'm almost back on track...

Keith...thank you. I've read they are in decline in England. Perhaps they are all on holiday over here! Actually, I heard their numbers have declined slightly here too, but they have grown considerably in my yard...

Penny...thank you! Sounds like you're going to be super busy. When I'm really busy I can't paint either. That's why I fell behind on the challenge last month...

Garden Lily...thank you!!! :-)

Thanks, Phil! I tried to capture their personalities. I'm not too keen on the last one, though. I was tired when I painted him... My son's favorite is the middle one.

Abe...Thanks! I've been painting since I was a little girl. I did these with watercolor on Arches 140lb rough rag and then scanned them into the computer.

Chris...Thank you! The second one is Matty's (my 14-year old son) favorite as well. According to him, "anyone can paint a side view, but the 3-D pose is hard." I had to laugh because I don't like my "side view" painting (the last in the series). I was tired when I painted it, and it shows... I hope you start painting again. I would LOVE to see your paintings. I love all artwork...

Kelly said...

...Aunt Diane...I know what you mean. I LOVED that house soooooo much, and the porch was to die for. She was so good with the little birds too, putting out breadcrumbs, etc. I drove by the house on her birthday last year. I shouldn't have done that.....I just started crying and crying. I couldn't stop. Oh boy....watering up now.....

Felicia said...

I love how the birds look as though they have tiny flecks of snow on them, the little ones that melt just as soon as they hit. You've really captured the essence of birds in winter

Wanda said...

Your paintings are wonderful, Kelly! Will be watching for others.
We have some of these little guys, but they haven't bothered the nesting boxes we have put out for the Bluebirds.
Happy painting!...Wanda

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I like house sparrows, because I've come to know them and appreciate their ways. And you're exactly right, they can't help we brought them here and now don't like how well they've settled in. I wrote a post about them last year (http://riverdaze.blogspot.com/2009/04/grateful-obligation.html) and was quite surprised at some of the vehement reactions I received—including one "birder" who purposely trapped them so she could kill them.

There aren't many sparrows around here along the river. I may see three or four some days throughout the winter—rarely a flock of 15-20; and plenty of days when not a one shows up, in spite of my many feeders and scattered cracked corn. But I'll gladly feed them—and enjoy them—when they do appear. Your grandmother's heart was in the right place…for aren't we all strangers in this land?

Loved the paintings. You do such lovely work. My favorite is the top one—just the perfect pose and perfectly rendered.

NicoleB said...

I have a soft spot for sparrows too. I love their happy hopping and chirping and their nosiness :)

Those paintings once again are gorgeous!

Laure Ferlita said...

Great sketches, Kelly! Glad to see that paintbrush busy!

Hilke Breder said...

Beautiful water colors, Kelly. You captured their subtle colors so well. In 2007 Great Britain put them on the endangered list; major drop in population probably due to habitat change, which is weird because they usually thrive in towns and cities. A couple of years ago on my annual trip to see my family in Germany I checked and hardly saw any. In the meantime I think they have recovered. I have never gotten any sparrows at my feeder

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Beautiful little sparrows, Kelly! We don't seem to have these in our yard, but we have sparrows (don't know if they're English Sparrows) in more public areas. I've always thought they were too cute!

Robin said...

These are great!! You've really captured these little buggers. My husband makes traps from them to keep them out of our bluebird houses.

Tammie Lee said...

These are wonderful Kelly. So amazing how dabs of paint in just the right places and a wee charming bird comes to life!

Warren Baker said...

Keep the Sparrows safe Kelly. Over hear they are becoming a rarer sight. 50 years ago they were considered a pest species, and a 100years ago you could be paid for bringing the eggs of house sparrows to the local bobby.

Bird Girl said...

Oh Kelly - I am for sure one of those who would like to literally 'knock off' three house sparrows in the snow! And every other one I can find! They kill my bluebirds and they are so merciless!
That said - these are wonderfully accurate paintings and I am happy that you had good times with Gramma B watching the house sparrows. Who am I to rain on your parade ;-)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Kelly,
I'm no fan of house sparrows either, but I am a fan of your art and those paintings are quite beautiful! You did a wonderful job of capturing the colors and personalities of the birds.

Elizabeth Smith said...

Kelly, the house sparrow sketches are so lovely and so wonderfully detailed! I especially love the colors you captured in the gray areas.

Roy said...

These paintings and that of the woodpecker below are fantastic Kelly.

Carole Meisenhelter said...

your sparrow paintings are superb. Love the differing images portrayed, they look just like the sparrows I remember in childhood days too. I'd love to share some Australian bird photos with you, perhaps I will email you..

Kelly said...

Hi Carole...I just saw this comment. Yes, please do. I'd love to see them!