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In response to the presidential election results this week I listened to an On Being interview with the poet Naomi Shihab Nye. I found it inspiring though it wasn’t my first time listening to this interview or her poetry. I am a great fan of her work. Poetry can be like an old friend that you visit again and again, especially in tough times.
Here’s the link:
If your life is not a poem maybe it is a painting or a homemade hat. Hopefully it is filled with kindness and love and the freedom to be who you are.
The Common Grackle is a favorite of mine – strong and elegant – a smart mischief maker. Nothing common about them their black iridescent coloring reminds me of a black opal. I would love to entertain them in my garden. I have no Grackles in my garden but many Mockingbirds and Cardinals. They are coming for the ripe figs!
Painted with Gouache and watercolor on smooth Fabriano paper.
Happy to begin the new year with a new addition to the Magpie series.
Continuing my illustrations of the “counting crows” nursery rhyme https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_for_Sorrow_(nursery_rhyme) after a little break. Not a part of my childhood memories, a dear friend from Belfast shared with me her memory that as kids after the sighting of just one Magpie, they’d search the skies for a second or a third Magpie, not to be left with just one for sorrow.
I love Magpies to paint and observe. My first live sighting was two years ago in Athens at the Greek Agora. I saw just two – for joy. This past November in Greece again I saw Magpies, not considered a rarity in Athens, sometimes considered a nuisance actually. Two Magpies welcomed us when we arrived this year, just outside our window. Again on a birding tour of Imittos Mountain and the Oropos wetlands with Akis Gaitanakis (Greecebirdtours.com) we saw more Magpies (and 43 other beautiful species).
The most magnificent and inspiring show of magpies came at about the 41K point of the Athens Marathon while running- as I entered the city limits of Athens – a large flock of Magpies flew out of a tree and filled the sky in their noisy way. For me this was a thrilling sign of encouragement. I ran with a singlet printed with the image of a flying Magpie my mother designed. As I learned from Akis the previous day, Magpies are not really fast birds, especially for long distances, you will almost never see them on the Greek Islands… an appropriate bird for me as I am a very slow marathoner.
Looking forward to beginning four for a boy. Hope your 2016 is filled with wonder.
Part two of my Magpie counting project. Happy to be posting again. Some illustrations just flow – this watercolor of many layers took a bit longer to work through.
Magpies… one of my favorite birds, at the very top. Magpies the most elegant of the Corvid family. Working on a new project illustrating the counting “crows” nursery rhyme.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvidae www.dawnhenning.com https://www.facebook.com/DawnHenningPage?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
You are invited…
Blogging Birds Exhibition –
This exhibit features work created specifically for my Sketchjay blog. Blogging has been a bright spot in my life just like running. I am so appreciative of those who follow my work and share their feedback. If you are in New York City please stop by.
Berkeley College Gallery, 3 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017
Art Opening: October 9th 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Please RSVP to Bob Keiber: 212 252-2065
Here’s a sneak peek…
Roadrunner sketch ~ This piece is not for sale, it will be raffled off on Marathon Sunday, November 2nd 2014. If you’d like to participate in the raffle, make a donation to Team For Kids and support my first ever NYC Marathon run. Even a few dollars will make a difference. More here: http://www.runwithtfk.org/Profile/PublicPage/17732
Please RSVP to Bob Keiber: 212 252-2065
I am busy working on a new project that I am very excited about, it is a collaboration with someone I respect and admire very much. It is a labor of love and it will take some time to complete. Until I am able to share more details I will be reposting some older work.
Thanks everyone for your support and interesting insights. The original title of this piece was “Missing Mockingbird” – graphite on paper, 2011.