Friday Feathers- Woodstorks at the 16th Hole

Dozens of pairs of breeding woodstorks on a little island in the water hazard at Spring Island, South Carolina. Drawn through a scope from the space between the green and the sand trap. watercolor wash over pencil on Stillman & Birn 8 1/2" x 11" Alpha Series hardbound book with mechanical pencil.
Dozens of pairs of breeding woodstorks on a little grove in the water hazard at the 16th hole on the course at Spring Island, South Carolina. Drawn through a scope between the green and the sand trap. Watercolor wash over pencil on Stillman & Birn 8 1/2″ x 11″ Alpha Series hardbound book with mechanical pencil. On the pillow: European robin.

I am Artist in Residence this week at Spring Island Trust in Okatie, SC, drawing and painting birds and sunlit landscapes with palmettos and broad marshes, alligators, live oaks dripping Spanish moss. Wonderful wading birds: tricolored herons, little blues, greens, yellow and black crowned night herons, great blues, great egrets, snowy egrets, wood storks, purple gallinules, and clapper rails. This morning: red-cockaded woodpeckers and Bachman’s sparrows, hopefully.

Nothing cuter and weirder than a nestful of baby anhingas. Pale creamy fuzz and pink faces. Heads no wider than necks, like nozzles on fire hoses. Mechanical pencil on Stillman & Birn Alpha Series 8 1/2" x 11" sketchbook, drawn through a scope at the rookery on the 16th hole. Golf course designed by Arnold Palmer.
Nothing cuter or weirder than a nest full of baby anhingas. Heads no wider than long necks resemble nozzles on fire hoses. Pink faces on cream-colored plush, and black pin-feathers wing and tail. Mechanical pencil on Stillman & Birn Alpha Series 8 1/2″ x 11″ sketchbook, drawn through a scope at the rookery on the 16th hole. Golf course designed by Arnold Palmer.

There are peculiar island squirrels here, too- fox squirrels with solid black or charcoal gray coats capped by bright white noses. The squirrels are unusually big and floppy, as though  muscles weren’t fastened properly. They don’t sit up bright, alert and curious, but stand up flat-footed and meerkat-like for a slow look around. The island effect or just old-fashioned rampant inbreeding may have something to do with it.

Oysters in their comfy beds on the mud flats of Spring Island, exposed by low tide. Semipalmated plovers sucking down worms pulled from air holes in the muck, the marsh equivalent of robins on a lawn. I wrote on the page: "sketched to the delightful sound of rich bivalve pops, like the clacking of meaty tongues". Watercolor over mechanical pencil on Stillman & Birn Alpha Series hardbound 8 1/2" x 11" sketchbook.
Oyster beds exposed to the air at low tide. I sketched to the delightful sounds of bivalve pops, like the clacking of meaty tongues. Watercolor over mechanical pencil on Stillman & Birn Alpha Series hardbound 8 1/2″ x 11″ sketchbook.

I’m on the road from now until June 15th; unless someone disrobes and I draw them, birds will replace nude humans. Next week: Panama’s Barro Colorado Island, and maybe even a real live motmot.

Happy Friday.

4 thoughts on “Friday Feathers- Woodstorks at the 16th Hole

  1. Clare says:

    Lovely drawings and paintings! And I giggled out loud at your ‘birds replacing nude humans’ comment! I’m away from home at the moment and all I have is a pencil and pen, this makes me miss my watercolours!

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