New Year, New Nectar
Here on Hummingbird Hill, one of our most important duties is to keep the hummers happy. We have a handful of hummers year-round who regularly come to sip the sweet stuff from our two saucer-style feeders. When we were still new at it, we found it difficult to remember which of us changed the nectar last and when. This resulted in confusion and—more importantly—the potential risk of unhappy hummers.
So, I came up with a solution.
Enter: Nectar Refresh Schedule!
Read the full article and download the schedule on the original post on my collaborative blog, Hummingcrow & Co. :)
One of the new ditties I'm working on
Back in autumn I was experimenting with several little tune-flows on the piano. Lately I've been trying to see if I can puzzle some of the pieces together— will they create one big tune, two medium-tunes, or just stay as a handful of tiny-tunes? This recording was an attempt to stitch together a few of the little tunes/phrases:
Read the full original post on my Patreon page :)
⚘ 2020 ⚘
“Crow Ho Ho!” It's...
This is Seán's and my first collaborative lino-print. We passed it back and forth throughout the whole process— from sketching to digitizing; carving to colouring; printing to packaging.
The block, almost done being carved
'Twas a fun & pun-tastic experiment— looking forward to collaborating more! ☺︎
Been Busy Making!
Hi folks! Hope you had some nice meals and warmth over the holidays.
December was a busy & creative month! I was a bit of an art-machine, making things for the local Metchosin art fair & creating gifts to send out for the holidays.
Waiting patiently to be set up at the art fair
Some of the things I made this month:
- Small bird-sculpture-ornaments
- Avocado-pit carvings made into brooches, necklaces, earrings and ornaments
- Gift tags printed with new stamps I carved
- Origami gift boxes / nest boxes for the birds
- Bracelets/hair-ties beaded with dried arbutus tree berries collected on the property
hand-printed origami gift box; some brooches; a necklace; a turtle; an “acornament”
new stamps that have come in handy 'round the holidays
a freshly-beaded arbutus-berry bracelet
Full stories & more photos on my Patreon page.
Celebrating 1 Year!
Huzzah! It has been one year since my first Patreon post!
I decided to celebrate by honouring the star of that inaugural post—my fine felted friend Leggy—by illustrating a twinkly caricature:
Read the full post and see more pictures— including a twinkly animated GIF— on the original post!
Hummy's Gallery Sessions – #1!
Here's introducing a new series of little music-y videos: Hummy's Gallery Sessions!
Seán thought it would be a nice idea to shoot a hummer's-eye-view video of me playing a new improvised song that I had just came up with. So here it is! The song was inspired by a song by zmi that I had stuck in my head.
Since we're going to try to make this a new habit, I thought I'd seal the deal with a fun logo. Here's a peek at the logos I made, in English and Japanese:
Read about the whole thing on the original post!
Hummingbird VS Hummingbird hawk-moth
While exploring in Japan last week, I discovered a new favourite creature of mine: The hummingbird hawk-moth!
It uses the same mechanisms as hummers to hover, and has a long manoeuvrable proboscis to sip nectar and pollinate with. Seen from a distance, it is quite easy to mistake one of these insects for the tiny jewel-birds that are more familiar to us.
Read more about this wonderful insect and see process pictures on the original patreon post!
Virtual Art Residency in Japan – 日本でのバーチャルアートレジデンシー
Two weeks ago, my partner Seán and I embarked on a journey to Japan! ....kind of!
To explain: we had been planning for an October trip to Japan, but since that isn't possible right now, we decided to “go to Japan” in the ways that we can while staying put in Victoria. (Here's the full idea in sweet blog-post form: https://write.as/hummingcrow/ittekimasu)
During our virtual residency, we've been making a habit of creating little art pieces daily, which has been fun. These Shiitake Siblings (しいたけ兄弟) are my latest digital art thing, inspired by some extremely cute shiitakes I got from the farmers' market to add to my Japanese cooking experiments.
I'll be posting this on the creativity-oriented Japanese social networking site note to accompany the rest of the art we've shared so far. Take a look at some of the things we've been up to on our note page: https://note.com/hummingcrow !
Doodle doodle dumpkin
Hiya! Hope you're keeping well.
I was just scanning in some of the past two months of doodles from the “margins” of my printer-paper notes (I quote “margins” because they actually tend to be the most dominant thing on the page, ha) and thought to share some of them.
Some of these were doodled while I was listening to a podcast about adult ADHD/ADD (something I'm eagerly learning how to manage in my life, as I've recently discovered that I'm not alone in my neurology!); others while listening to music to try to calm my nerves; others while in a meeting; and some while digesting a meal.
See the rest of the doodles & read more writings on the original Patreon post.
Digital Painting Practice – Flowers and Oak Leaf
Hi friends! Hope you're keeping well.
Here are two more digital painting experiments:
Garry oak leaf
The red-flowering currant is a beautiful native plant in BC; a favourite of hummingbirds and other pollinators in the spring. I worked with one of our photos from the garden, and layered some simple line-work on top. Then I chose five key colours from the flowers to work with and coloured it in in a sub-layer, locating the darks and lights.
Full story & process pictures on the original Patreon post.
Digital Painting Practice – Robins & Bird Bath
Hi! Hope you've been keeping well.
I've been doing some experimenting with digitally drawing over some of Seán's and my photos of birds, plants and other objects around the garden lately. It's in preparation for some new exciting (and currently secret) projects :)
I was a bit conflicted about the drawing-over-photos idea at first, because it felt a bit like cheating. But then I was convinced that it's actually just a good way to find another use for our plethora of photos...
Full story & more illustrations on the original Patreon post.
New Website: Behind the Scenes
A couple of months ago I made a new website thing using write.as and customizing it with a coding-language called CSS (kinda like HTML) with the help of this great webzine among many other helpful walk-throughs, and my ever-patient partner Seán. It was fun to learn how to take my paper ideas & art into the digital zone and tinker with it there. I wanted it to have a tactile feeling about it:
Some of the brainstorm-sketches, paintings and paper cutouts
The homepage self-portrait I did in watercolours, next to the colour-testing sheet—I always enjoy the look of it at the end!
Full story & more process photos on the original Patreon post.
Rooftop Flicker Band: First Tablet Drawings
Hey folks, here's a peek at some new stuff!
Seán and I invested in a drawing tablet a couple weeks ago, and I've been enjoying playing around with it so far! I'm using it with Krita, an awesome, free and open source digital painting program.
To learn the program and experiment with all the different brushes, I decided to draw a northern flicker playing a guitar (cleverly dubbed by my mum as a “flicker picker”). For reference, I used a photograph of a flicker gulping water at our bird bath: eyes closed, head tilted up, as if singing.
Full story, process pictures, and more flickers on the original Patreon post.
A hummingbird puppet has been on my mental “to-make” list for a while, but wasn't the highest priority until I was invited to participate in Seán's virtual “puppet soirée & sing-along” birthday gathering — the perfect opportunity!
This was my first attempt at needle-felting a puppet, and it turned out to be quite a nice medium for the smaller-scale female Anna's hummer.
A description of the process, along with more pictures and a video of the (literal) humming-bird in action can all be found on my Patreon. :)