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Monday Motivation

Good morning creatives! We are in full swing summer here in Florida and wow if you can get out it is for shorter periods of time. So mush so you practice may drop off but here are a few ways to keep it going.

Bird feeder near a window. If you have an area where you can put a feeder you can record all the birds that come to visit. There are many apps and guides that can help you identify the birds you are seeing but just record what you see first. Get comfortable identifying "your birds" not by species but as individuals. As an example, I have a cardinal pair I can Notch and Tess. Notch is the male and he is missing the end of his upper bill. He is extremely attentive to Tess and will feed her occasionally. I also have a pair of female grackles that try to show each other dominance at the feeder, with pretty funny results. Don't think it is worth your time? Amy Tan, author of Joy Luck Club started journaling and published a book just about her feathered visitors. Maybe you could too!

No place to put a feeder? While not exactly the same what about watching a feeder cam? Cornell as well as many other places have feeder or nest cams. These are great ways to study birds. Bonus points if you can find a cam in your local area to learn species you may see on your hikes.

Watch Zoo cams. There are quite a few out there and will help you diversify your study animals.

Pets are a great way to sketch. I have a child so naturally we have a ton of pets. This makes it easy for me to sketch any time. I personally have a Lesser Siren which is native amphibian to Florida but rarely seen, They like to hide in the shallows of lakes eating small fish, tadpoles or insects they find along their way. Suey (as my kiddo named him) mostly like to hide but every once in a while (every other day) he will "dance" around the tank. Not sure what the behavior is for. Perhaps amphibians get zoomies too? This is something I can document and try to find a pattern. He is honestly the coolest animal.

Try a different medium. For Christmas I received an Android tablet that I could draw on. While I will never be solely digital, I like that I can just pull it out any time a sketch for practice and can save it or not. I also tried "painting" with it.

Suey the siren

I hope you can incorporate some of these ideas into your practice. I am working on an event later this month for Moth Week and will let you all know the date and event when it is finalized.

Happy Sketching!


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