Monday 10 June 2013

Something about wrens...

This morning I woke to an unfamiliar birdsong. There, just a few feet from my window, perched in my dogwood tree was a Bewick's Wren. I rarely see wrens in my neighbourhood, let alone right outside my window, so I was entranced. The melody was so beautiful! And I in light of a painting I recently finished, I knew what I was going to write about today.

As readers of my blog already know, I'm a fan of wrens. In my region of southwestern British Columbia, there are four species. All are small, basically brown, and tend to wave their little tails in a jaunty, upright manner. Usually reclusive, during the nesting season their attitude changes. They become quite feisty and each species has a unique, melodious song that's broadcast only at that particular time of year. There's something about these little brown birds that captivates me. I wrote about them earlier this year when I was sojourning in the southern Caribbean and became mesmerized by a pair of house wrens (see Good Things in Small Feathered Packages). Wherever I go I'm on the lookout for them. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that they have found their way into my art numerous times, such as the trio of Winter Wrens currently on my drawing table (pictured right).

And as anyone who has taken a walk in the woods with me knows, I can be easily distracted. I don't intend to be rude, it's just that the flitting of a feathered form, the lively sound of birdsong, or the finding of a cast-off feather instantly captures my attention and whatever conversation we were having falls by the wayside. This is true at most any time of year but in spring I'm particularly vulnerable because it's nesting season for Winter Wrens (which I recently learned are now referred to as Pacific Wrens in this region, differentiating them from their eastern cousins). Usually invisible in the underbrush, they stand tall - or at least as tall as possible for a creature that's only three inches long from beak to tail-tip - on tree stumps or low branches and sing their little hearts out. I am always moved by the sight and sound of them. 

This year I was motivated to create this silk painting:

My silk painting "Song of the Rain Forest: Winter Wren"

It is a tribute to my love of these small creatures and the joy they evoke in me. It's also my attempt to capture essence of the lush, coastal rain forest where giant trees tower over a carpet of moss and foliage that is, in springtime, dotted with blooming trilliums. It's a setting that's spectacular all year round but in spring it's truly magical, made even more so by a tiny brown bird with a big voice.

To see this painting and others, join me at my Artist's Open House on Saturday, June 29th, 2013. For full details, visit my

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