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I have not considered myself a “birder” until perhaps very recently. I never realized it, but birds are everywhere. Whether I am in New York City or in my own backyard, birds land in close proximity at my every turn. My interest in birds started through my travels in Costa Rica. I am drawn to flashy, exotic colors. Tropical birds, insects, and orchids are all right up my alley. I now live in Florida and at this time of year it is definitely “bird season”. Many migratory birds head from the north at the same time that just as many other type of “snow birds”( humans!) head to the Sunshine State. There are 2 species of birds I have become fascinated with. They are both permanent residents here in Florida. One is the Sandhill Crane. It is a large crane that often migrates to Florida but as climates have changed, there is a large population of Sandhill Cranes that call Florida their permanent home. This new piece is one I did in watercolor and colored pencil and shows the beautiful array of subtle yellow ochre and earth tones of a Sandhill preening its feathers.

“Sandhill Crane Preening” Watercolor & Colored Pencil ©2019 Mindy Lighthipe

Another bird I have become smitten with is the Florida Scrub Jay. This inquisitive little bird is the only endemic species of bird to Florida. What this means is that is found no where else in the world. The Florida Scrub Jay lives in family groups in low growing scrub oak ecosystems. They are a Red Watch List species with a Continental Concern Score of 20 out of 20. They are omnivores but are particularly fond of acorns. They hide acorns in the sandy soil and are instrumental in reforesting the habitat with acorns that germinate into saplings. Here is another painting I did using the same technique of the combining watercolor & colored pencil.

“Pass the Acorn Please- Florida Scrub Jay” Watercolor & Colored Pencil
©2019 Mindy Lighthipe

These 2 paintings are currently on exhibit at, ” Edison’s Jungle“. I am one of 30 artists who were asked to participate in the exhibit at the Edison Ford Winter Estate in Fort Myers, Florida. It shows the flora and fauna that drew Edison and Ford to Florida. The show is up until May 19, 2019. If you are in the area….stop by and enjoy the show!

If you would like to learn more about my technique of combining watercolor and colored pencil consider taking my online class: Experimenting with Colored Pencil