Sunday, November 25, 2012

Somewhere in the Dry and Dusty Desert is a Sanctuary Where Aderyn Reads to the Birds

Here is an illustration I finished recently. It is 15 by 20 inches and illustrated with gouache and pen.


    Aderyn lives in the middle of a sizzling hot desert, and although she loves to feel the heat emanating from the flat surfaces of the desert, she misses the birds of other places she has lived. In the desert, the animals all seem rough around the edges and slightly mean. Snakes are abundant with their flickering tongues and roughly scaled bodies. Snorting bores with their tufts of rough hair and large curious nostrils are cute only in their ugliness. Even the desert birds are angry and shrewd. There is the vulture, with it's hunger for decaying flesh. There is the roadrunner with its darting, suspicious eyes. Or the hawk, in a constant state of gliding, it's cunning eyes scanning the flat ground for easy prey. Aderyn loves dainty birds and pretty birds. Her favorite birds are the birds that are far to fragile to survive the ruthlessness of the desert. One morning she woke up early to drink a glass of iced tea while watching the sun rise. When she opened up her front door there was a tiny bird lying almost dead on her door mat. The little bird was the color of a tulip, and it's small feathered chest was only slightly moving up and down. Aderyn nursed it back to health, but she knew that she could not let the bird back into the harsh desert. Instead, she was struck with a grand plan. She would build a lush and beautiful aviary for all the non-desert birds that needed sanctuary  Anytime a non-desert bird became lost in the desert or became too tired in its trip to travel south, it was welcome in Aderyn's avian sanctuary.  Dainty birds from all around the world stopped at her aviary. Every night, she read them stories from a book full of stories about birds and their various adventures. Sometimes Aderyn would sleep in the aviary with the birds instead of in her house. She would fall asleep to the sound of light chirps and rustling feathers.She would dream she was a bird too, flying through a clear blue sky.