Friday, October 11, 2013

BLOGTOBERFEST13 (Day 11): My valentine to the American oystercatcher

ANOTHER VALENTINE TO THE AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER.  Using photoshop and making a small change created a different effect. Which one do you prefer? (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Dear Readers, I have fallen in love with the American oystercatcher. As I spend time on the internet falling into the numerous photos of oystercatchers posted out there in the ethersphere, I just can't help being fascinated by these beautiful birds. 

Today, I deviated again from working directly on the life-cycle of the American oystercatcher to make this VALENTINE to the birds. In my creative process, I attempt to honor my gut feelings and to make and paint the image that is asking to come forth. And a VALENTINE was asking to be made.

After seeing this photo below several times scrolling up and down through the American oystercatcher photos, I paused on it. Then stopped completely. I saw a heart forming from the shape of these two birds' bodies. And as sentimental as it sounds, I wanted to make a VALENTINE to them.
PHOTO THAT INSPIRED MY VALENTINE. The photographer Mia Mcpherson explains that the oystercatcher on the left is a juvenile and the one on the right is an adult. Do you see the difference in eye ring color and beak? For more information go to Mia's website.
THE BEGINNING. The egg is too visible.
I told myself that I was staying on task because surely in the life-cycle of the American oystercatcher, there is a time for "LOVE"! Right? Otherwise, there wouldn't be any EGGS or EGG BABIES!

Once I had made this drawing on the left, I stopped. Put it aside. It was too silly! 

Then I had a conversation with Jen Hilburn, the ornithologist that I'm collaborating with on the story of the life-cycle of the American oystercatcher. One of her challenges for me was to figure out how to merge the egg with the background or surrounding environment of the egg.

The eggs are the most delicious thing going on out where the American oystercatchers are nesting Jen told me. Almost every living creature wants to eat that delectable egg; therefore, that egg has to blend in with its environment. It has to be still. Stagnant. Invisible.
THESE EGGS ARE TOO VISIBLE. Although I had not finished this image and would have made a nest for these eggs and done something for the surrounding environment, I didn't know how I wanted to express the "egg blending" with the background. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)

So, I thought, why not have fun with this heart-shaped image with oystercatchers falling in love? Let's make it a make it a gaudy VALENTINE! I returned to a style of mine that I refer to as "meditative," making as many dots and spirals as I wanted. And this is what I came up with:
EGG BLENDING! Here you can see the egg is beginning to blend. I will continue to play and think of ways to "hide" the American oystercatchers' eggs. For now, I have created my VALENTINE to the American oystercatcher. (Art by Hallelujah Truth)
Jen has emailed me some pretty amazing photos that she took of American oystercatchers emerging from the shell. So in the upcoming days, I will be playing with those images! Stay tuned. 

But for now, that's Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me and let me know how you like my Valentine to the American oystercatcher. Any suggestions for making the patterns on the American oystercatchers' shells and a way to match to the background?


  1. LOVE IT!!! I'm so enjoying your process with these birds and eggs and hearts!

    1. Thanks Jes, I'm so glad you are out there painting intuitively and giving me support to do that too!

  2. You are like a mother hen in love with the Oystercatcher who is in love with her babies...and I love the way you are blending the egg into the valentine background . I prefer the bottom image of the two top ones...the egg is hardly visible in it but the very last one with the squiggles and circles is my favorite...looking forward to more...

    1. Darlene! You are right I am in love with my babies! I am both the mother and the egg! Hehe! And thanks for the feedback about the images. I like the second one too!