Wednesday, March 29, 2006

show and tell wednesday-- for the birds

Here is my latest painting- in fact i am in the middle of 3 hummingbird paintings at the moment--I was struck with this latest mania earlier this week- I am still puzzled by the subject-- truth be told i am not a fan of birds in fact one of my greatest college torture experiences relates to birds.

I was an education major-- and although i love my alma mater I think the course requirements for elementary school teachers were a little tedious- they chose every class you took, even general ed requirements were specific-- no electives-- you couldn't take physical science 100 like everyone else you had to take physci 110 (physcial science for teachers). Also it is a little known fact that it is NOT a co-ed school-- That is if you are an education major. I figure it may be part of a deeper plot to segregate a large part of the girls from a large part of the boys (my husband was an engineering major and can attest to this isolation theory as well). It is a fact that many of us hang up our credentials for motherhood and they may figure if enough of us graduate single they can get a few good teaching years out of us before we eventually marry and settle down.

One of the "special requirements" is a Zoology class called Appreciation of Nature (sounds pleasant enough) really it was all about observing and cataloguing your observations of 75 species of birds- and in my opinion bird watching is for the birds!!

For those of us non- birders- getting up at 630 on Sat. morning (don't they know we stay up late on fri night!!) to walk around the canyon with a bunch of your fellow girl classmates, binoculars and your professors is not on my top ten list of FUN COLLEGE ACTIVITIES. I took the class spring term so I only had 2 months of this torture-- i failed to realize though that meant 4 mo of observation in 2 mo! I soon realized i don't have what Howard Gardner terms "naturalistic intelligence" (big shout out for Howard by the way one of my favorite theorists- and a nice man IRL) No matter how hard i looked I couldn't even see birds walking through the wooded areas of campus, let alone, find them in my giant bird, and identify their specific species characteristics, before they flew away or i realized it was one i already had. I was saved only by my brother in law- who is a wildlife biologist and bird guy who drove me around and helped me find species (big shout out for phil favorite bird guy and also nice man IRL)

So I sold back my bird book at the end of the semester because try as i may couldn't pickup the habit and remained generally indifferent to the fowl of the air. Recently though I was captivated by beautiful images of hummingbirds- I think they were my ticket all along- the appeal to my aesthetic sense, a way of building a bridge between me and the feathered friends-- they are dazzling, their glorious iridescent colors and elegant curves, their almost odd proportions, the way they hover, their delicate beaks. I guess I had never really seen them before because their wings were beating so fast. So my lesson from the birds... stop and look... is beauty in everything even if you don't notice at first-- so I give you rufous hummingbird.


Julie said...

your painting is absolutely beautiful!

Rachelle said...

What an awesome painting!

Lei said...

I share your fascination with them, Les. What a beautiful painting! I can't wait to see them all!

Crazy and lovin' it said...

Cool colors!!