Magical Birds I Have Known

  There is a pigeon roosting down the hall from my art studio. I am on the fifth floor. He gained entrance to the building through the permanently open window that allows access to the fire escape. I haven't seen a Mrs. Pigeon so I believe he is a bachelor. 
  He has chosen to set up housekeeping (although not tidy at all) on top of an abandoned piece of electronic equipment next to the window and as I write he is contentedly coo coo cooing.
  I like birds. I find them magical and inspiring. Birds seem to like me too. I loved how on mornings when working in the garden, hummingbirds would fly right up to my face and hover there, the breeze from their wings ruffling my hair. Or when little wrens and sparrows that would hop up on the bench next to me when I would be eating lunch outdoors. Ravens are always fun to watch and I love that a group of ravens is called (EEK!) a “murder”.
  Only once was I scared by it wasn’t the classic Hitchcock movie, “The Birds” but it felt like a scene from it.
  When I moved back to help my Dad take care of my Mom we converted the detached garage into a studio work/live space for me. One morning, like any other morning I opened the studio door to go outside, but something was different. The air was filled with the sound of birds quietly chittering, but not the normal everyday chittering sound of the birds nesting in the backyard trees...this was a fuller,  somewhat ominous sound...I looked around and then up at the electrical lines that ran along the rim of the embankment at the end of the yard...and there... filling the lines were hundreds of starlings...chittering...and all I could think of was the sound of the birds just before they attacked in Hitchcock’s movie and...not wanting to disturb them, I quietly retreated back into the garage and closed the door...
  I don’t think Mr. Pigeon and I will become great friends. I am not sure he is really welcomed by the other artists and creators on the fifth floor, but his presence has reminded me of all the many birds I have illustrated/painted in the past and, who knows, colorful magical birds may begin to appear in future garden paintings. 

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Black Birds Watercolor & Gouache on paper/2007

Birds & Flowers Watercolor & Gouache on paper/2009

Love Bird Watercolor on paper/1983