So many things are happening all at once! Perhaps the biggest news is my acceptance to the California State University summer program, Drawing and Painting in Florence, Italy. For three weeks I will be totally immersed in some of the best art ever created, surrounded by artists, making my own art, and eating Italian food!!! Just thinking of it gives me chills, literally! I have received enthusiastic and generous support from all those whom I know and love, which will allow me to enjoy the experience fully.
My landscape drawings at The Huntington are evolving. The Yucca Landscape is the second one I did, more fully developed than the first, yet I managed to hold on to the energy in the drawing. I am currently working on a third, which I started in sepia. This will be even more developed, and will include at least two different inks: sepia, and a darker version mixing in a little black for deeper shadows. I may even go into it with a third application using white ink for highlights. We shall see.
The cactus garden is a wonderful place to be this time of year. Many of the plants are in bloom or just getting ready to pop open. The birds are all going crazy choosing partners for the spring. I heard a male hummingbird making that high whistling noise with his wings as he dove down to impress a female. He was so fast, I could not see him, because I could not locate the sound quickly enough. Then I heard another sound, very rhythmic and whirring. There, directly ahead, was a pretty little female sitting demurely on a branch. In front of her was the male, tail fanned and swinging up and down, up and down, in a figure-eight pattern, as he wooed her with his rhythm.
The parrots are noisier, cackling, screeching, making deep throaty sounds and clucks. It is easy to see how a parrot could learn to vocalize human sounds. Last week they had a bit of competition from the honks of Canadian Geese, who stopped to feed. All of this punctuating the incessant trills and songs of the warblers.
The lizards put on their own quiet show, big ones chasing little ones, very territorial. The larger lizards have flashier colors, and one dandy with yellow spots had the longest toes!