Sunday, November 9, 2014

AEDM Day Ten

Are you looking' at ME?
Wow, ten days in a row doing art for Art EveryDay Month. I do love Novembers full of creating. Today I really did a lot of homework, although calling it homework feels weird because it was pure joy painting up these pages. My plan in the next twenty days is to finish my watercolor Moleskine (5.5"x8.5"). I have something like twenty-seven pages left so I am going to have to do several double layouts so I don't have pages left. I don't think that'll be too much of an awful thing as, like today, I could really use more room to put down what I want to. Next week the SBS teacher is Andrea Joseph, one of my favorite artists. I can see me doing many pages, trying to learn about her style. Then we'll have Liz Steele and again, like Cathy Johnson and Brenda Swenson I can see myself loving the lessons and wanting to explore that she's showing us. 

(Click to Enlarge)
So, today was bird day. I chose to do a study of seagulls. I've had a wonderful relationship with all the seagulls I've met in the Pacific West Coast of Canada where I live. The love affair started when I was very young. We used to take the ferry to Vancouver Island to visit relatives and my dad would go to the cook in the restaurant and ask them to save all the crusts and toast that didn't get served. Within and hour we would have a bag of goodies for the seagulls that followed the ferries back and forth to the island. See, the ferries back in the seventies used to throw the garbage off the back of the ship so the birds would follow along and get a free lunch! Seagulls and serious scavengers but they're also incredible acrobats in the air. I used to throw the great into the wind and never did that bread hit the water. Usually the smartest gulls would hover against the wind and wait for their turn in a line! It was so cool because one would cue up, grab it's bread and careen off, allowing the next gull forward. It was bliss for a six year old.

Charlie the guard gull
Another memory happened when we were renting a house in Victoria. We had just moved back to BC from Ottawa and hadn't found the house we wanted to buy yet. This beautiful house had a guard gull. He roosted on the roof and chased off all other birds, knowing the people in the house would feed him dog food, well, because he was cute!! Boy, was he pushy though. Holy cow, no other seagull could get within one hundred feet of our house. One summer day we were at a garage sale and came across an old rusty lawn ornament. It was the outline of a large mallard on an iron pole. We brought it home and stuck it in the front lawn to see what "Charlie" on the roof would do. First he screeched from atop the chimney for hours. When that didn't work, he flew down and stalked the piece of metal shaped like a crude duck. He didn't seem to know you can't intimidate metal. It was hilarious. He tried to bully that piece of iron for days. Hey, he still got his dog food or whatever, he just learned he wasn't the only bird around anymore! Later, he would seem to use the iron duck as a comrade in arms. When other birds showed up he would saunter up to the iron duck and I swear I could hear him whisper, "buddy, you go left, I'll go right. We'll scare this sucker away right quick!!" Silly seagull. ;o)

Seagulls will scavenge for food. Be careful, they'll steel your chip bag right out of your hand!
Seagull feet
My final memory happened only a few years ago. Mom and I had been out shopping all day and hadn't eaten. We stopped in to McDonald's and picked up a couple of orders of french fries and went and parked in the deserted parting lot of the restaurant. It was summer and I had my window rolled down. As I munched on fries, I noticed a lonely looking seagull forlornly walking up to car. There were no other creatures, human or otherwise around. I took a chip and threw it to my lonely, hungry little friend. Just as I did I heard mom scream, "NOOOOOOO!!!!!". Within seconds the entire car was inundated with seagulls. It was like Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds" came true on OUR CAR!! It was actually hilarious, there were ravenous seagulls on the hood, on the trunk, many were circling the car, stalking us and one was even hanging on the roof, peering down through the windshield, looking at us like... "Hey lady, I hear you have fries. I suggest you share or this could get ugly." To get all the gulls off the car I had to sacrifice my fries to the masses. We coordinated it, mom started the car, I threw the fries, box and all as far as I could and we peeled out of that parking lot like a bat outa hell. Still, we laugh every time we pass a McDonalds.

Here's the full page layout. I'm entering it into day 10 of AEDM. Oh, did you know that seagulls mate for life, live about ten to fifteen years in the wild and when they cooperate they will all stamp their feet in unison on a grassy piece of land. It tricks the earthworms into thinking it's raining and they all come up to the surface! Lunch!!
Seagull study homework for Cathy Johnson's class in Sketchbook Skool
See you all later, or, well tomorrow for more art. All Art, All Day, here on Just Add Water Silly!!! ;o)

If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.
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  1. Dropping by from AEDM to say that I like your seagull studies, especially the pink feet!

    I live in California, and have seen both pink-footed and pale-grayish-yellowish-greenish-footed gulls here.

    Best wishes!

  2. I love your bird stories...and your art is so free and expressive. As for sea gulls, I have had a chip (fries) pulled from my mouth as i was biting it! And my husband lost his whole piece of fish. At Manly Beach, is a great place for fish ' n chips... and seagulls know t.!

  3. I really love this whole layout! And i am so jealous you are doing SBS, it looks like a great klass!

  4. Great to see you at AEDM again. :) Loved the seagull stories and the sketches. I so hear you on counting the pages and managing the work so there are no pages left at the end. :)


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