Friday, December 1, 2023

Daily Sketch: For the Bird

"Biding Time", pencil with watercolor wash, 21 x 14 © Bernadette E. Kazmarksi
“Biding Time”, pencil with watercolor wash, 20.5 x 14.5 © Bernadette E. Kazmarksi

I didn’t get to do a sketch today because I was keeping an eye on a fledgling bird I’d rescued from the street in front of my house yesterday afternoon. At first I thought it was a robin, but later decided it was a black bird of some sort, grackle or starling, or even a crow. It didn’t seem hurt, just stunned, when I picked it up and placed it under the big spruce in front of my house. It sat quietly, but today I heard it rummaging through the ivy and thought it must have been foraging in there. But later in the afternoon it emerged onto my sidewalk and began what looked like seizures. It flopped around, could not stand on its feet, fell over when it tried to sit up, and overall did not appear to be in good shape.

This bird needed medical attention. Perhaps its trauma from the previous day had just caught up with it. Because so many wildlife rehabilitators are so busy this time of year with all the baby animals born and often abandoned, I had a hard time finding someone who had the space for a bird. I did find a veterinarian who worked with wildlife but could not take the bird, having no place to keep it, but if I felt it was in poor enough shape, as I did think, I could take it there to have it humanely euthanized. I considered that and actually packed the bird in a box to go, but had also called one rehabber about 45 minutes away and decided to wait for her to call back, difficult as that was hearing the bird crashing around in the box.

I heard back from the rehabber and drove the bird to her place this evening, Wildbird Recovery. It’s too bad it was rather dark when I got there; I’m familiar with the place and I really wanted to photograph all the birds that live there.

But most important the bird was getting care. Head trauma, she said. Yes, it had caught up today, the brain swelling. Probably not a good sign for the little starling, but at least he’d be in hands that knew what to do with him. I will hear back from her at some point about his care.

In the meantime, I’m posting the art called “Biding Time”, which is neither a sketch nor a starling, but it’s two doves in my maple tree out front. I’ve always loved the bird populations here. And because I’d also like to give the woman a donation, at some point I will offer a giclee of this drawing, matted and framed, to the highest bidder, with the winner sending that bid to Wildbird Recovery. But we’ll finish Odilia’s auction first!

Here’s a little bit about the drawing, and you can also see it in my Etsy shop.

What do doves do all day? Just kind of hang out waiting for something to happen. These doves are hanging out in the maple tree outside my bedroom window, a scene I often see and always enjoy. The scene I finally chose to draw was a bright overcast day when a snowfall had melted from the branches, leaving them a little wet and more colorful than usual with the little bits of moss that collect on the undersides, and the shadows are muted and soft.

The branches of the ancient maple tree vary in texture and even color, the larger branches and trunk carrying old gnarled scars from years of storms.

The doves always seem to have some purpose beyond just sitting there, but sit they will for hours, moving only slightly, perhaps waiting for friends to join them.

I chose to create this drawing in pencil for the simple clarity of line and the delicacy of shadow. I added very slight watercolor washes to show the bird’s breast tarnish and the contrast of blue on the upper feathers, and the slight gather of moss on the tree branch.

The print is 14.5″ x 20.5″, matted with a 4″ tan acid-free marble mat 1″ matte black wood frame. The backing is acid-free foam core and the glass is premium clear glass.

Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Cat Art and Prints” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in One Year of Daily Sketches.

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

© 2013 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski


From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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