I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

"Swarm"

Did I say something nice about the weather last week?! It's hard to imagine as I listen to my neighbor gunning his pickup truck over and over as he tries to unstick himself from his driveway. The bottom of his truck is resting on the snow, and he's a little dimwitted about how to rock himself back and forth out of his current situation.

I had to drive into the city today when the snow was falling 2"/hour. That's a lot of snow, on top of the snow we already had, and all the snow that fell 2"/hour while I was pleasantly dreaming. The freeways hadn't been plowed or salted either. Thankfully (just in this case) everyone is out of work in Ohio, so I didn't have to worry about rush hour traffic while I inched along in a white out. For those of you lucky people who don't know what a white out is, it's when you literally can't see anything except white snow in every direction. It would've made as much sense to stick my head in a bucket of white latex paint as to drive to Cleveland today.
I guess we'll just skip over the part of why I was there learning about how "paraphernalia" is a misdemeanor felony in Ohio. It wasn't my paraphernalia. I don't smoke pot, but obviously there's at least one person in my life who does, and someone I just can't leave in a Cleveland jail. Maybe a year's probation, Alcoholics Anonymous, thrice weekly piss tests, and counseling will end up being a blessing in disguise?
But onto a happier subject...

Yesterday the sky was blue for a little while. There was snow on the ground, but it was the manageable kind. Altogether, not a bad day for February, and I watched the birds outside my kitchen window. Then I realized I was watching a robin. Yay! The first sign of spring! (Okay, I see the irony of this considering today's blizzard, but let's stick with the happy thoughts...)

The robin was hopping around on the snow, and I noticed another robin. Then another, and another, and more. It was a swarm of robins! If one robin is good, then a flock of them must be better, right? I'm ready for good things to start happening now. Okay, maybe after I find my driveway under the 15" or so of snow, then happy things! Alright, maybe after my coronary getting rid of those 15" or so, then happy things! Right?!

I drew these little sketches on a paper towel today while waiting in the car outside the Justice Center. Paper towels are terrible for doodling. I really need to keep better emergency drawing supplies in the car. The dead robin at the bottom reflected my general attitude after waiting hours for legal things to get processed, but you'll notice most of the birds are up and hopping around.

Ultimately I am an optimist, and as I was cutting paper for this post a certain someone showed up and shoveled the 15" or so off of my driveway :)

37 comments:

  1. Wonderfully three dimensional! :)

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  2. Give those robins each a little shovel and get them to work! Great post Linda. Sorry you had to go through the legal “stuff” with your loved one. At least we get a paper towel sketch out of the deal :o) Yes, you are an optimist, 6 live birds and one dead one....hehehe the glass is more than half full :o) Great illo of the robin... I like to see signs of spring... even if it’s the widow of my computer instead of my living room! Terrific stuff!

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  3. Nice drawing, maybe you will continue with it?

    Please, feed these robins. With so much snow they can not feed themselves. They need breadcrumbs on the ground: they aren't as handy as other birds that use bird-feeders.

    Wish you a bit more spring and less snow soon.
    Paula

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  4. Thanks! And good point Paula -- I probably should've thrown some food out for the robins because I wondered what they could possibly be finding to eat out there, and now even less to eat with so much snow.

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  5. Wow what a story! I hope you have good tires. I'm really nervous driving in those conditions, in PA we've had plenty this year.
    I don't smoke the stuff either, but I know plenty of people that do. (It's about time they legalize it!)
    Through it all there is your robin red breast, a little beacon of hope, letting us know there is sunshine in our future. I love the sketches!
    I'm glad that a kind person shoveled for you, and that your story had a happy ending!

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  6. A brilliant paper robin born from a paper towel sketch! Wonderful! How one drives is not as important as where you end up at the end of the day... except when you're driving in snow... :o)

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  7. @Heidi, I agree, it's time to legalize it. People are going to use it legal or not, and our police have got to have more important things to do than arrest people for having a pipe. If we spent the money on stopping domestic abuses, I'd consider our tax dollars better spent. Of course I'm not condoning breaking the law though.

    @Rand, good point!

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  8. Someone has a good friend in you Linda if you will drive in a white out for them! Interesting that you see robins as Spring birds...we have them here all year, they are such bold,sparky little birds...one of my favourites. Great sketch...and I do like your attitude to life Linda...optimism rocks!If you turn your paper towel upside down you could even bring the dead robin back to life..;0)??!! Have a great weekend,
    Jane x

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  9. So now I am adding cut-paper-artist and paper-towel-doodler to my list of awesome talents you have! Beautiful dark shadows on your bird, and I just adore the way his feet curl around the branch! Hehehe, the dead bird made me chuckle. Looks as though the one above him wants to poke him, just to make sure.

    I am SO glad you made it through those driving conditions in one piece!

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  10. Haven't seen my first robin of the year here in NY yet... I did see a swarm of blackbirds recenlty, over 300 of them in a tree and more swooping in to settle down too. It was great.
    Sorry to hear of your troubles, I'm assuming kids, and my coworker and I regularly end our conversations with "kids, what are you gonna do?" Good Luck with it!

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  11. Sorry to hear about your treacherous drive. Love your little bird sketches. Hope you have lots of robins soon.

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  12. You've already seen a robin?? Several robins?

    What a gift. Maybe it was given to you because of what you had to endure ;)

    Lovely piece Linda.

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  13. Thanks everybody! I think I'll poke that dead robin a bit today too. Maybe it was just numbed into a temporary coma? More robins will come to all of us soon!

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  14. Interesting start to your weekend! Yes, I do know "whiteout" and I know I do NOT like to drive whenever that's happening.

    I like both renditions of your robin, with promise of better things to come. The paper towel swarm too!

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  15. Thanks Abby! Can't say it's my best piece, but I just felt like cutting paper this time :)

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  16. Despite the difficulty of drawing on paper towel, I really like your little study sketches. Your cut paper piece is beautifully done!

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  17. Cut paper!! It's so beautiful. Makes me think of fabric appliqué. Sorry about your driving troubles but I envy you the robins...the live ones anyway. :)

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  18. It's nice to see your process, Linda. I like your paper towel sketches, and find the dead robin to be a very funny contrast. Enjoyed your running commentary of the day, too, and how it related to your post. Nice work!

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  19. Heisann!

    I'm optimistic on your behalf - a swarm of robins must give you spring in some days! The dead one doesn' t count! No matter....
    Have a nice week ;:OD)

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  20. Thanks everybody!! Kind of thinking I could've just posted the paper towel doodles :)

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  21. Beautiful work! Love the cut-through layers and the dimensionality. Its always great to find another papercutter.

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  22. Thanks Patrick! For those of you who like paper cutting, check out Patrick's blog. He does some beautiful work.

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  23. Great post and illo, as usual!

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  24. Thanks Juan! And thanks for the follow Reflections!!

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  25. This is lovely. I especially like the paper towel doodles

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  26. Wonderful little paper towel drawings!

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  27. Fly robin fly! I guess he´s not dead on the paper towel, just resting for next flight. Great work Linda!

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  28. Wow! I love this. Thanks for sharing your creative process too.

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  29. Thanks everybody! I like the idea of the robin simply resting Hudson :)

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  30. Hey its me Mr Pighead. I'm so sorry I am late in fact I was early yesterday and had a chuckle at your dimwitted neighbour - and hoped he doesn't read your blog. And obviously was so busy chuckling I forgot to say how much I like your sketch - rough paper or not. There's a lot of joy in drawing birds - it's not like they settle down for more than two seconds to let you draw them - and I think you've captured that with the surface you used :)

    Your colour harmonies/chords in the finished work are just so professional! Not a hair (feather) out of place.

    Hope the paraphenalia stuff goes okay.

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  31. Oh I just realized they are cut paper. It looks wonderful. You must be very patient.

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  32. Hey Andrew, no worries, I'm pretty sure my dimwitted neighbor doesn't read. I'm still playing with cut paper this week. Wonder if IF will give me a word tomorrow that works with anything I've made? Would be nice, which is exactly why that's never going to happen.

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  33. Oh just do what you want and use the word as an adjective. Eg say the word is 'Paradox" then you can just do a "Paradox Of Parakeets" :)

    Oh the joys of the day before IF word release day :) PS I sent one of my escher works to my good friend and old art teacher. His only response? "If you turn it upside down it looks like a goat." Hheh.

    Maybe 'goat' will be the If word ? :)

    see you!

    Oh my, my magic word is "cesses!"

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  34. LOL I can think of many applications for "cesses"! I think I'll start using the magic word immediately.

    Sounds like a great art teacher for you with that sense of humor. I loved your Eschers, but didn't see the goat. And "goat" doesn't work for what's on my computer tonight.

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  35. Saw a swarm of Robins today. I garden & feed 'my' Robins worms. They know me. My Robin looked me in the eye as I was captured by the swarm. I couldn't count how many, I was happy to see them. On the edge of a rainstorm. Atlanta, Jan. 30. Bathing & singing in the rain:) You must, always, keep a small sketch-book & favorite pen with you... I do like the papertowel sketch:)

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