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Heralding The Season
9 x 12

It seems that over the last few years I've been motivated to do a piece to signal the coming of spring. Since I am not one to break tradition, I came up with this fun piece! The sparrows here have been very vocal lately, having made the long journey northward to settle in for the coming season. In unison, early blooming shrubs will give nourishment and attract insect prey for many birds and other animals. The song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) will frequent low lying shrubs in marshy wet areas, such as those surrounding my home. One of these early blooming shrubs is the pussy willow (Salix discolor). Known for its silvery catkins, it has long been associated with early spring.

 I came up with the idea for this artwork without having a specific photo to work from. I knew the fuzzy catkins would look best if backlit and so the concept of a song sparrow perched in mid song at the top of the shrub, with the sun shining from behind, came into being. To create some depth, a few branches were left blurred in the background. It's a challenge to be a photographer in your mind and try to imagine how things would look through the camera lens but sometimes it's good to work in a way that you are not used to. Especially challenging with a medium such as scratchboard, when you can't just paint it over if it's not working out! I decided to just start scratching and see where it led. I hope it was successful...have a great spring everyone!