Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

The winter birds, ink and metallic pigment on paper, 2021

Wishing you a merry Christmas with a few of my favorite things – birds, brushes and books!

Finally completed a page for #seasonsketchers and went looking around for stuff to improvise this photo with. As the end of the last sketchbook of 2021 nears it is more difficult to hold the pages open on their own. I recruited Santa for the task. With gifts delivered, he now has time on his hands again.

About that sketch…

The weather has been mostly cold and grey in Zurich, which is not my particular cup of tea (or coffee) for outdoor sketching. Yet with the overwintering birds as daily visitors, we had such a riot in the morning of Christmas Eve. My sketchbook page got quickly filled with our winged guests. They always arrive in the morning and are mostly into the sunflower seeds. The usual couple of black redstarts in the neighborhood is back, then followed by the great tits and blue tits in one group.

The seeds are too big, so the birds head off to the maple trees and stand there, pecking away at the branch until the seeds become the right size to gobble up. After a dozen rounds, the blackbirds are alert and a group of three muscles their way through, ousting the smaller birds. That is partially what you see on the page. The female redstart picking a seed, and a great tit stretching it out from the maple tree. I used a metallic orange brush pen for the dried up leaves on this sketch – an experiment with the most recent addition to the Pentel range.

…And the reads on my holiday desk

Quite the holiday entertainment here. I hope you are having a great Christmas break too. Christmas is also time to catch up on books. I finally managed to read Candace Rardon’s second volume, “Stuff every coffee lover should know” among the Japanese literature and art. Learnt a lot from this little volume too. As always, my favorite sections are the stories from all the different cultures. What books are you reading this Christmas season?