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Location: Lacey, WA, United States

I have a Certified Artist/Teacher degree with the National Society of Decorative Painters. Taught decorative painting, color theory, calligraphy and other art related classes for 12 years. I enjoy using my artistic talents, especially to update furniture and repurpose found items. I am married to the world's most wonderful husband. We celebrated our 48th anniversary this year (2016). We have raised six children, three boys, three girls. Have 10 grandchildren. Through the NSDP I have paintings in the White House, Blaire House and Smithsonian Institute. I was given the honor of being the Chair of the Pacific NW, "Breeze and Brush" Decorative Painting Convention. What fun we had! I like keeping healthy and enjoy life. I love humor and people. God has been good to me!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Geese and Basket, India Ink with ink washes

This is an India ink drawing, with colored ink washes, on coldpress watercolor paper that I did in 1989. Waterfowl are one of my favorite subjects to draw and paint.

We have a beautiful nature reserve not more than a couple of miles from our home where you can enjoy the sights of a great variety of birds and wildlife. It is in the Nisqually Valley with the Nisqually river running through, a perfect home for local animals, birds and migrating flocks.

There are many marshy areas, trees and bushes, large open fields dotted with trees, bushes, marsh and ponds, a beautiful place for wildlife. It is open to the public for a small fee. You can walk the trails, picnic and spend an entire day sightseeing. My favorites are the Canada Geese but there are also Mallard ducks, Gulls, Heron, Eagles, Terns, Swallows, Robins, Sparrows, Hawks, Cinnamon Teals, skunk, squirrels, rabbits, raccoon, coyote and deer.

To walk completely around the reserve is a five mile trek, half of it along the saltwater marshes as it borders on the southernmost fingers of Puget Sound and the the other half bordering the Nisqually river where the gravel pathway leads onto wooden walkways where you can view cattails and Skunk Cabbage, depending on the time of year.

On the saltwater side there is a marker in the trail pointing to the large evergreen trees on the far side of the marsh where you can spot an Eagle aerie, using binoculars. I have seen Eagles nesting with the male sitting on a branch not too far above the nest. I have had them launch into the air and fly directly overhead toward the open fields looking for prey. Large Heron also nest in these trees. The first time I saw them I was amazed, it just didn't seem right for such large birds to be in a nest high up in evergreen trees. I guess I had always thought they nexted on the ground like geese.

You can sometimes spot a seal, Otter or other water loving wildlife. I have witnessed the awesome power of Canada Geese, in a territorial fight, beating their large wings against the water, honking, hissing and chasing each other. It amazed me how fast they traveled across the surface of the water that way. They have come flying across the water, up the embankment and onto the path, within a few feet of where I stood, oblivious to my presence. I didn't stay long.

There is a small path that wanders off in the direction of a marshy area in an open field, it turns into a wooden walkway hovering over the wet marshy ground and eventually reveals a duck blind where you can sit and watch waterfowl on a small pond. It is so quiet and restful I have often thought it would be a great place to nap.

As I was leaving the reserve after a day of observation, sketching and taking notes, I was headed down the straight portion of pathway that is about 400 feet from the parking lot. The reserve closes at dusk. The sun was at the end of it's journey toward the hills and the sky was pink yellow and amber. There were hundreds of Canada Geese hunkered down in the fields on each side of the path.

There was a honk here and a response from another and then another and another. The noise level rose and suddenly, as if on cue, the geese began rising into the air and in a giant swirl of feathers and noise they circled not more than 30 feet over my head (keep your mouth closed I thought) They continued to circle for about five minutes, necks outstretched, honking and floating overhead with the setting sun reflecting it's rays off their feathers. I'll never forget that beautiful sight and the sound of their wings beating against the air.

They began to rise higher and higher and eventually with a few closing honks landed further into the field where the marshes, ponds and tall grass were located, seeking the safety of the tall grass and bushes in preparation for the oncoming night.

There isn't a more peaceful, beautiful place for relaxation and fresh air. The aroma of fresh grass, flowers, salt air, the sounds of geese, gulls, frogs and birds is a wonderul experience. A bonus is the apple orchard where, in the fall, the apples have ripened and start falling to the ground. They are a sweet, crisp treat for the deer, racoon, birds and people. I don't know what kind they are but they fill up my bag and make the most wonderful apple pies, cakes, tarts and applesauce.

You can exercise, read, write, draw, picnic and sightsee as well as resting. I hope you enjoyed the pictures I posted. Isn't it a beautiful place?


Anonymous helen sefsik said...

I love this piece. I also love to paint birds and can appreciate the detail you have put in this lovely ink drawing. With Regards, Helen

5:41 AM  

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