Every Artist Needs A Muse…(nuthatch)

nuthatchEvery artist needs a good muse… and in my case this winter, it’s been a solitary Red-Breasted Nuthatch.  I’m not sure if it’s a male or  a female, but I think of it as a “him”.  He has become so accustomed to me and my camera, I’d swear he poses for me before flying off.  It’s a hard bird to photograph too since they’re constantly in motion, whether hanging upside down or flitting around on tree branches.  I’m completely charmed by him at this point and make an extra effort to ensure his favorite food is out there and then worry when I don’t see him at his normal times.   I’ve got loads of reference photos at this point and in a couple of weeks, I’ll have a painting of this nuthatch completed to share with you.

black capped chickadee

black capped chickadee

The arctic winters here in northern New Hampshire can still offer a variety of birds to watch, which amazes me.  I mean, it’s not exactly an easy climate to endure, and yet, here they are!  We keep several feeders filled with a variety of birdseed during the winter months when the black bears are  not around to raid them.

Common Redpole

Common Redpole

I keep a camera, a pair of binoculars and a sketch pad at hand in case an opportunity for a painting should occur.  Every couple of years, we’ll see birds such as the Common Redpole or the White-Wing Crossbill, which is a real treat and gives me new material to work with.

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2 Responses to Every Artist Needs A Muse…(nuthatch)

  1. Hey Jeanette, I spent my childhood in Bristol,N.H. and don’t ever remember seeing a Red-Breasted Nuthatch at our feeders. We always had the White-Breasted. At our first house here in Washington,I too had a favorite R.B.Nuthatch.I called him “Hatch” and he learned to come to my hand for peanuts,even from across the yard. I watched in fear one day when a Sharp-Shinned Hawk attacked our feeders and Hatch was left hiding upside down under a branch.I stayed in place to protect him until the hawk left.He was a wonderful,trusting bird that I’ve painted a number of times so enjoy using your reference of your new friend.Happy painting! Kady Dunn

  2. Jeanette Fournier says:

    Hi Kady!
    What a fun story about your bird “Hatch”. Thank you for sharing that with me! “My” nuthatch will land right next to me but I haven’t tried to feed him out of my hand yet. That could be fun!

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