Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BLOGTOBERFEST13 (Day 8): Getting inside the egg

WARM, WET, DARK, COMFORT. Inside the egg is a nice place to be. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for going in deep...getting inside the egg. Hallelujah for the internet that allows me to peruse and find images of bird egg babies as they develop. Hallelujah for process and for collaborators like Jen!

The image you see above, "Warm, wet, dark, comfort," is described by my collaborator, my co-parent of this story, Jen Hilburn, ornithologist on St. Catherines Island, Georgia. And while I like the "feel" of this image I have created, I am in no way finished with conceptualizing how I want to "show" the bird inside the egg experiencing this "warm, wet, dark" comfortable place of its development.

As the illustrator of this collaboration about the American oystercatcher's life-cycle, I know that I am not striving to depict these birds realistically. I do know that I want there to be feeling or emotion present in my drawings. And that I am wanting to evoke a more complicated feeling in the viewer than just "Ahhhh, that's cute."

I would like to take a moment to tell you about my creative process. More than four years ago when I was teaching myself how to draw, I made a decision to use micron pens (which cannot be erased) when I draw an image for the first time. I desired to use my eye-hand coordination and intuition, and I did not want to second guess myself or go through constant revisions. I continue to use this process today.  

Once I have decided what an image needs to reflect my intention, I will go back and "work" on it using a pencil, tracing paper, and an eraser to develop the desired precision. In the case of this collaboration with Jen, my intentions are to create a series of images for us to discuss. Through our discussions, I see us making choices about which images to use and how they need to be "re-made" (black and white, color, large, small, serial, artistic, etc.) for consistency and story telling purposes. 

I expect to innovate, to discover, and to surprise myself and my collaborator Jen in this process, much in the same way that she surprised me last week when she did the "The Bird Birth Dance."  The beginning of that dance is expressed in this photo right here.
CRAZY CRAMPED POSITION. Last week when I skyped with Jen, she illustrated how cramped it is inside the egg for the baby American oystercatcher (see this blog). (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Another image I would like to share with you today is "Crazy Cramped Position" below. Please take a moment to compare this with Jen's position in the photo above. 
CRAZY CRAMPED POSITION. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
After I have completed the images, I scan them and "play" with them in photoshop. The two images below resulted from tonight's play.
MY BABY, MY HEART. Once I had drawn the inner egg, I saw that it looked heart-shaped. "Love thyself," I proclaimed to myself, thinking how we all need to nurture that which is new and evolving in our SOULS! So in my photoshop "play" I added more valentine red and saturated it to create this one big VALENTINE. (art by Hallelujah Truth)

SOUL EGG. Here, I wanted to see this drawing from different perspectives and colors. Right now, it has a kind of Pacific Northwest Native American feel to me. And I am satisfied with it. (art by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee with Hallelujah on the eighth day of blogging in Blogtoberfest13. SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what you think about my images. What do they evoke in you? What do you proclaim?


  1. Oh Ruth, this is such a wonderful blog to be following. I am in love with the American oystercatcher...

    1. Darlene I am so glad you are in this journey with me as I explore telling the story of the American oystercatcher's life.

  2. Nice blog moving deeper into the process and I love the picture of Jen! What a fun project.

    1. Melissa, I am so excited that you visited my blog page and wrote a comment! Going deeper into the process! Yes! Jen and I are surprising ourselves as we explore how to collaborate! We didn't anticipate this co-parenting a story to be so much fun.

  3. Beautiful, amazing, glorious images! I love how you weave art & spirit, you have a beautiful blog.

  4. Alana! Thank you for revisiting my blog and writing such a kind comment. You have "hit" the mark when you use the word "weave" art and spirit! That is my goal--in addition to understanding more about the "science" of life. Now, I need to get myself to your website and see what you are doing with words. And do you draw too?

  5. I have canaries nesting at the moment and the other day saw one hatching from an egg. It was exciting. Your drawings made me feel how tight it must have been before cracking out.

  6. Thanks Annie! That crazy cramped space in the shell...we don't think much about that do we? How exciting it must be to have hatching canaries! I would love to see some photos of them.