That was really something! My Instagram challenge served its purpose well and was more delightful than I could have imagined.


- I practiced art every damn day. I draw and paint a lot, but not every day. My favorite yoga saying is "practice makes practice" and I experienced this consistently through daily drawing. My intent was to practice sketching and use this as a warm-up exercise for my regular (art) work. As it turns out, most of my art deadlines are self-imposed at this point, so in many cases the bird became the real work (of art). I did lose some sleep over this challenge, but in a good way. Not a staring at my ceiling ruminating on the collapse of our democracy, but in a wake up an hour early and paint in the silence or stay up late and color and watch a movie with my husband kind of way.

- I am not afraid to draw a bird. My drawing confidence increased. I almost always trace in some way, via projection or tracing/transfer. I consider myself a colorist as far as where my originality lies. While I did use these methods for some birds, I did abandon my safety net for many a bird. Sometimes it resulted in elongated, inexplicable body shapes.

Sometimes, I was able to freehand, with loose strokes, a common practice that I have almost never done.

No one said it was a contest, but I think anyone following would agree my niece Kate wins the challenge:

Major kudos to my mom and my sister for starting her and having her stick with it, all while fully participating themselves!! Obviously, the bird doesn't fly to far from the tree. My favorite thing was to call my sister when I knew she was "art-ing".

Where do we go from here? I will post the challenge in a way that is hopefully user-friendly to anyone who would like to revisit the challenge or use it in a classroom as a warm-up. I really wish I'd been more diligent about including a state historical fact, the birds were selected in order of statehood. In most cases, I credited the photo to the internet source.

To be clear, bird goals:

- Post the #50birdschallenge photographs

- Create an actual or digital collage of my mom, sister's and my birds

-Have a bird show during spring this year (2020) in Iowa City "selected works" at a coffee shop or small gallery

-Go to this: Tuesday, March 17, 7 p.m. BASICS OF BIRDING I by Karen Disbrow.

Thank you for following! Thank you birds, for birding like it's not going out of style! Check out the challenge at #50birdschallenge. Click on Kate's birds to see my sister's beautiful drawings, as they are hidden from the main frame.

14 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All