Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Birds

Our little family moved into our current neighborhood a few years ago, and it was a new neighborhood, so we got to see all of the other houses go up about the same time as ours.  Shortly after we moved in, the neighbors to the back began to build their home, and since our house is a two story house, we could sit and watch out the back window everything that was going on. 
An older couple moved into the house and proceeded to turn their backyard into a very beautiful place to sit and enjoy the cool evenings. 
To add more life, they added bird feeders.  And then more bird feeders, and after that, they added a few more.
Consequently, this corner of the neighborhood seems like a set from an Alfred Hitchcock movie because of the many avian visitors.  At first, I was kind of perturbed, because of all of the droppings, etc. everywhere.  But, I have to admit that due to the crowd of birds that they have brought in, I am always fascinated with just watching all the life in our own backyard.  We also have birds nesting in our front yard each year which is so interesting to watch from my office window.  So much can be learned from just watching nature.
Nevertheless, even though I don't know my back neighbors well, I decided to paint them this envelope with a note tucked inside to thank them for the birds they have brought into the neighborhood.  It's funny the positive impact you can make on others as you try to make your own little corner of the world a pleasant place.

This was done in gouache and a little pen and ink:

Here's one of the little guys that hatched on our front porch nest and this is the first time that he "flew the coop" and began exploring his little world alone:

Saturday, June 16, 2018


There is a young man in my church who has been on my mind.  He often blesses and administers the Sacrament, something that has become vey important for me each week, and I’m grateful for the way he pronounces each word of the prayer, unrushed and sincere.  I painted this envelope to thank him for his service and for his goodness.   


Saturday, June 02, 2018

Wart Biter ...any takers?

This week I read an article about an insect, a cricket, that is on the endangered species list.  The name of this little beauty was what caught me.  It is commonly known as a "wart-biter."  Interestingly, back in the day, people actually would catch these insects and allow them to chew off their warts...WHAT?  The scientific name Verrucivorus derives from the Latin, 'verruca' meaning 'wart" and 'vorous' 'to devour."  NO JOKE, it is able to do this as it has very strong mouthparts.  Nevertheless, as I looked up various pictures of this insect, I was struck by how fascinating the creature appeared.  So ornate and armored!  Awesome.  

Consequently, this week's envelope was one of pure self-interest...not really intended to mean signify anything in particular.  Rather, I just wanted to doodle this guy and try my hand at painting this bug I don't have anyone in mind to which I will send this envelope, so, for fun, I thought I would offer it up to the person that can tell me, via comment, the most interesting cricket story that they have.  I'll read through those comments, post the one that I find most fascinating, and send this envelope out to them with a fun little letter.

Happy Story Telling!