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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Grumpiest Bird in Creation

I've said it often enough, but I'm going to say it again. I can't draw. I drove one of my TAFE teachers to distraction by saying this, though it was difficult for him to contradict me; for everything he could point to that I had done OK on, I could point out two travesties of the word.

I can't remember exactly what I wanted this robin redbreast to look like, but I think the fact he turned out so obese and grumpy worked really well. It's meant to illustrate the William Blake verse

Robin Redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions
from his Auguries of Innocence.

I sponged the background with acrylic paint.  The 'drawing' was done separately, with conte crayon and watercolour pencils, and the lines from the poem done in Word (each line in a slightly different font), printed out and each line cut out separately.  They were all sprayed with Boyle Gloss Spray, (which I get from Riot Art), which I use to waterproof anything that comes out of my domestic printer or anything else that might need waterproofing, and stuck down with acrylic gel medium.  In doing this collage I discovered that full strength acrylic gel medium does not work as well as when it is slightly watered down.  It certainly sticks and seals, but it left the surface slightly tacky and I have to keep a piece of acrylic transparency stuff over it.

It's not the world's best looking bird, but I reckon that obese and grumpy is what would be likely to happen to a wild bird in captivity if it took the opposite approach to pining away and dying!


freebird said...

There is no doubt that this is a bird in a cage and yes, he looks a bit grumpy. So obviously you CAN draw or I wouldn't have known what it was! Maybe you can't draw as well as Rembrandt or some others or even as well as many non-famous artists but you CAN draw! And with practice you can improve too. I can't draw worth beans from memory while my granddaughter does great doing so. I have to have an object in front of me in order to draw. I love this collage! Your grumpy bird really does fit the words.

2paw said...

Yes, I agree, it is a grumpy looking bird!! It has a bit of the Sam the Eagle about it!!