Birds In Winter

It was the sparrows in a tangle of vines, in the back pasture, that gave me the idea.

The vines had a roof of snow and inside of them was a cozy world for the birds to flit through. I watched for some time as they hopped from vine to vine flying in and out of the tangle.

The next morning I woke in the dark.  I lay in bed thinking about how to create the birds and vines on a potholder.  I wanted the birds to have some color and after some time I had the idea to paint the birds and stitch the vines.

But when I got to my studio and began making what I’d seen in my mind,  it didn’t work.

So I decided to figure out how to paint the birds first, then see where it went.

learning how to paint the birds

All winter I’ve been watching the birds at the feeder from my studio window.

When the bright red cardinals started showing up, their color was shocking. Not that I haven’t seen it before in real life and reproduced in so many ways.  But it was this winter when I understood why they make such an impression.

How their bit of color is nourishing.

So when I started practicing the birds, red was my first choice.

After I got the bird shape I wanted, it still wasn’t right. But it fell into place when I stitched around the red paint, taking guidance from the paint but not strictly adhering to it.

Then I used the idea of the twisted vines to create the lines(vines) to connect the birds. I framed the birds with denim to make them into potholders.

Four of the bird drawings framed in denim.

I can’t remember ever making such a simple design. But it satisfies my need for expressing my feeling about birds in winter.

When I was done I painted some blackbirds.

Ravens keep coming to me and I wanted to represent them too.   I’ll stitch around these in black and have a few more ideas about the lines that will connect them.


12 thoughts on “Birds In Winter

  1. Oh…I love Ravens! These and the cardinals are lovely. If you have a spare….(not very likely!)
    Have fun with Robin. Swiss Miss takes me a long way back!

  2. I just got out of the hospital so I missed what you were doing and I couldn’t access your website. I want the two on the right hand side. Top and bottom when they get done the two that are square in the middle I figured I would catch you faster if I left the comment

  3. I love the spiral design. Makes me think of how the birds, as well as the spiral, remind us of the cycles of life, and the beauty in all of it.
    Where we are staying in our RV there is a pair of Kingfishers that fly along the irrigation stream behind our RV. I’ve seen them twice, but haven’t gotten a photo. Then we had to be moved to upper ground of campground due to flooding from overflow of stream. Hope to get back down there for our last week here end of March to see and hear those kingfishers again.

    1. It’s funny Barb, that makes so much sense, but I wasn’t thinking of that when I made it. Your interpretation probably makes more sense. 🙂 I’ve only seen kingfishers on telephone lines and from a distance. What a treat to get to watch them close up. Like having a nature show in your backyard. I hope you get back there too.

      1. the spiral and birds and cycle of life are just another perspective. Art is always in the eye of the beholder and means different things to different people, right? Which is why I love seeing and hearing the perspectives of others and their art. 😉

      2. For sure Barb. And I love hearing peoples interpretations too. That people can find something in a piece that speaks to them personally makes it even more powerful.

  4. On my Levi themed potholders I use the pockets from my husbands Levi’s as backing . Then you can slip your hand into the pocket to remove hot things. I like yours a lot. Good work!

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Full Moon Fiber Art