Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 12/21 Creative Exercise

I haven't blogged about the Peregrine Falcons that have been nesting on a ledge of the San Jose City Hall building lately. While I was away, a volunteer from the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group rappelled down the side of the building and banded and sexed the birds. One male and two females. When I returned from New York, the birds no longer looked like the fuzzy white chicks I remembered. All their feathers were in and they were hanging around the ledge looking at the world below. Everyone has been anticipating their first flights next week.
Well, that was until yesterday!! 

The male decided to take a flying leap early and landed on a ledge right outside the staff kitchen on the 15th floor.  Volunteers were on it immediately and banded together with binoculars, towels and boxes in case the young fledge needed rescuing from the perils of the downtown area. He took another flight and landed in a tree about a 1/2 block away, perched at the top of a deodora pine.  As the winds started to pick up in the late afternoon the fledge decided to head back to City Hall. As he took off, Clara flanked him on his right and Carlos on his left as they urged him up towards the nestbox on the 18th floor.  As they turned towards the building, he was unable to gain altitude and flew right into the building and spiraled downward and landed on the sidewalk next to a small tree! An alert volunteer tried to approach the bird to see if he was okay. In his defensive mode, on his back hissing with wings spread and beak and talons up, the brave volunteer managed to capture him in her towel and get him into a box for safety. 

After an exam from the people who work for the SCPBRG, it was decided that the bird was not injured, but would spend the night in a safe and secure office at City Hall and would then be released in the morning. At 7am this morning, he was taken up to the rooftop and his feathers were misted down with water so he wouldn't take another flying leap until he got his bearings. He was given a meal and his parents were there to greet him immediately, no worse for the wear. 

The SCPBRG has a Flickr site if you'd like to see photos of the birds from the very beginning. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 11/21 Creative Exercise

Do you ever get "the stare" from your animals?? Having returned from New York with a million things to do on my computer, I forget about the time....and along around 5pm, I sense someone is watching me from behind. Little Gracie is so polite. She would never order me around (ha!) but there are times when she just gives me the stare, like she is willing me to feed her, or take her for a walk, or just get off my butt and get out and smell the roses. Without my dog, I'd barely see the light of day :o)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back from New York!

Well, I'm back from Surtex and the National Stationery Show in New York. The trip went very well, although it got off to a rocky start with a 2-hour plane delay on the tarmac in San Francisco and pouring rain in New York. Took all day Saturday to set up our booth at the Jacob Javitz Center. No matter how hard you plan, it always takes longer than you think. This was our second year to participate at Surtex and it was 100% better than last year. More clients, lots more interest and great feedback from the designs I showed. I am now madly sending out the samples everyone requested for June meetings with their clients. 

I also got to see the art director for Innovative Kids, Liza Page, who brought advanced sample copies of the two books I did for them last year. They turned out so cute! Can wait for them to come out. "On the Farm" is coming out in September, and the other book is for Easter so that won't be out until next year. I'm starting a third book for them for them in June. Have to keep quiet on the details, but it's going to be really fun and creative!!

New York is always so exciting to me. So much energy, so noisy, so BIG. We stayed at the Affinia Hotel at 30th and 7th Avenue, across from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. I don't think that part of town ever sleeps. When we arrived, there were dead umbrellas tossed all over the sidewalks from the storm that had swept through. I guess if your umbrella turns inside out, the only thing to do is toss it aside. Too unruly to cram into a trash can. 

Although the trip was a success, I was exhausted. I spent the Memorial Day holiday relaxing and playing golf and by Monday afternoon, I felt as lazy as this princess kitty. Tomorrow I am back on my Creative Exercise. I felt so guilty setting it aside to get ready for Surtex, but it couldn't be helped. Looking forward to seeing what all my blogging creative buddies have been up to for the last two weeks! Did you miss me? I missed you guys alot. You're all such inspiration to me!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 10/21 Creative Exercise

Thank you to everyone who dropped by with comments on my mice sketches. Spurred me on to start working on them in color. I painted the mice by hand, scanned them into my computer and then worked on them in photoshop and added the digital background. Hope to get a couple more up before I leave on Friday for New York. 

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day 8 and 9/21 Creative Exercise

Haven't posted for a couple of days, although I have been sketching. I'm jamming for my trip to New York next week, and have madly been working on my winter holiday designs for Surtex. So sketching little mice on ice-skates came easy this week. Hope I have time to get these guys painted to take with me....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 7/21 Creative Exercise

This sketch was inspired by comments made by Alicia Padron, my tender-hearted blogging buddy, who felt bad for the poor pigeon in yesterday's post. Gave me an idea to illustrate  Falcon feeding time with a softer side.  The sketch came quickly, but I spent a little more time playing with it in Photoshop. A nice break from all the other work I'm trying to get done tonight. 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Day 5 and 6/21 Creative Exercise

                                   There's a show off in every family, right?

I've been jamming all weekend getting ready for the Surtex show in New York. Hasn't left much time for anything else. Luckily, I can watch the falcon-cam while I work. I did this sketch yesterday and colored it in today. Going to have to count this as two days.... :o)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Illustration Friday: SEED - Day 4/21 Creative Exercise

Juggling lots of work today and had to combine Illustration Friday with day four of creating a 15 minute sketch everyday for 21 days. Whew! Wish I could have worked the IF theme "Seed" into more falcon sketches, but those chicks are definitely not seed eaters! As I am posting, I'm watching them feed on the Falcon-Cam (see my links list) and Clara is teaching them how to pull and tear at the meat. A little tug-of-war with dinner! 

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 3/21 Creative Exercise

This morning I got up at 4:30am to take a friend to the airport. By the time I got home I was very sleepy, but decided to fight through it and start my sketch. The peregrine falcon nest was also quiet and the chicks were so cute all piled up against each other for warmth and comfort. They also looked as sleepy as I felt. Were they dreaming of their next feeding? Peregrine falcons hunt from the air and capture birds in flight, snipping off their heads and then plucking all the feathers before bringing the fresh kill into the nest....kind of like us shopping for chicken in the poultry section of our local market. After they are fed, they once again collapse into a heap and sleep it off. Hmmmm.....may have to take a cat nap after lunch today. 

Enjoy the day!