Thoughts on art culture and literature by an artist / art critic / journalist / editor / writer of fiction
Friday, June 5, 2009
Early this spring, I was enchanted to discover a bird, building a nest in the tree outside my window. I monitored her position as she stuck to her duty, hour after hour, ever diligent, warming her eggs. She shifted, facing one way, then the other. Even she, of little brain, needed a change of view. Trying to be unobtrusive, I sketched her and took photos. Was that stalking?
One day she left for a moment, revealing two small pale blue ovals. When they hatched sometime after - two fluffy blobs - mama fed them. She was diligent about that too, stuffing something unappetizing down their fragile gullets with determination. A feeding process more aggressive than nurturing, but then, I'm no judge.
At last, time for flying lessons. It took the babies a couple of days to muster the courage - jumping from a branch to the glass ledge above the window - a convenient launching pad. Mama came over to maneuver them into position. She shoved them toward the edge. When they took off, leaving bird traces, I was surprised to realize I missed them, like an empty nest aunt.
Since then, the nest has been sublet by two more mamas in succession. I'm a little detached these days. It's more of a bird factory. Plenty of unsightly evidence left on the window ledge. I'll need a power hose to clean it off. I've become somewhat jaded about the advent of spring. Still, it inspired me to write a new picture book, and begin the drawings. I'm calling it, The Nest.
An art critic, artist and writer of fiction, I struggle to balance the three. I started writing my first novel when I was eight. Volumes of poetry, short stories and comic books followed. I was enrolled in extracurricular art classes as a child, after deciding at a ridiculously young age, I wanted to become a painter. I studied fine arts for three years in Canada and France and also earned two journalism degrees. In the background of a varied career as a newspaper editor, freelance writer, and marketing communications consultant, I dwell in the realms of my dual passions - painting and writing - and on the exciting borders where they intersect.