Little Bird Miniatures

January 29, 2012

My home, Kamloops, British Columbia, is one of the locations in North America where the Mountain Bluebird nests.  They are stunningly blue–shockingly so, and are appreciated by birders the world over.  A monogamous species, the Mountain Bluebird mates for life and prefer nesting boxes which local people here build especially for them.

Another favourite bird of mine is the American Goldfinch which is startlingly yellow and black in the Summer, but moults into a very modest olive green shade in the Winter.  They are rampantly at our feeders these days, up to sixty at a time.  They are acrobatic in their jostling for position and make me smile to watch them nudge one another off the perches.

There are many Ravens in our region which are larger than Crows and stir many feelings within me when I hear their calls.

Perhaps my most favourite bird in Winter is the Junco, because they appear to be timid (they don’t generally feed at the feeders, but prefer to pick at what’s on the ground) yet won’t be bossed around, especially by Goldfinches.  I absolutely love their grey, white and brown feathers and their pert, quick ways.

Junco, Raven, Mountain Bluebird, Goldfinch Miniatures

Raven Miniature (closeup)

I hope some of you will give some thought to framing some miniatures of your own.  The two frames on the left were gleaned from flea markets, while the two frames on the right were imported from Italy.  Of course, photos are equally pleasing in these tiny frames–and are perfect for Valentine’s Day.  In case you’re wondering, I usually sell these at $25,00 each, depending on the quality of the frame and the length of time it took to paint the bird.  That doesn’t make for huge profits, but it means being able to provide an original watercolour for not a whole lot of money.

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31 Responses to “Little Bird Miniatures”

  1. magsx2 said

    Your wish has come true. 🙂
    I put a video on my Kookaburra post that shows a kookaburra laughing. 😀

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  2. Oh my Kim. That’s wonderful. I will email you with an offer of how that might be done.

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  3. Lance I would purchase all four of your birds if you told me how to go about it.

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  4. […] recently found out that other countries teach this song to children as well. I was reading a post Little Bird Miniatures by weisserwatercolours, and this came up in comments, so for those that don’t know this song, […]

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  5. Thank you for making this reference to Andre Kertesz and his truly memorable photography. For those reading this who may not be familiar with his work, here is a link: http://www.photographersgallery.com/by_artist.asp?id=200

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  6. ShimonZ said

    I like miniatures… more than I care for birds, actually… though I do appreciate the birds on many occasions, especially when they wake me in the morning with song. But a beautiful miniature can hold a whole world of expression, in a niche almost hidden, in a room. Some of the finest I ever saw by a photographer was at one of the last exhibitions of Andre Kertesz. He had moved to shooting in color, and because he was unable to develop and print the color himself, he had shot with a Polaroid, and presented a large body of work in little beautifully framed miniatures. They were wonderful.

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  7. I would love to hear one for real!

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  8. magsx2 said

    Oh Yes Kookaburra’s are a native Australian bird, I hear them every morning, and I also learnt the same song when I was a child. 😀

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  9. I’m very pleased to hear you do! I see they are of the same nature as those up here. I just love them so much. They are sweet-natured and very quick in their movements. Thank you for your comment–and I enjoy seeing your photos very much!

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  10. We have the Oregon Dark-eyed Junco here in Reno, Nevada. Beautiful little guys. I always scattered feed on the ground for them and the quail.

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  11. I appreciated your post of the photo of raw cotton and your story. Thank you for coming by here and commenting!

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  12. gweaverii said

    Absolutely beautiful watercolors. I never thought of framing miniatures. Thanks for the idea.

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  13. Thank you for the compliments–and thank you for helping me understand what varieties are at your feeders there where you are. I’d give my right arm (well, maybe my left) to see an Eastern Bluebird. I’m not a nutbar about birds, but I’ve always wanted to see one for real. I’ve seen plenty of paintings, and even one or two stuffed in a museum’s bell jar. But . . . . anyway, yes, the Raven IS huge, and though imposing, very much concerned with its own agenda. They don’t make havoc at the feeders, or seem to annoy the others. I once ironically saw one being chased out of Dodge by a very determined and exceedingly territorial hummingbird!

    Thank you again for your considerate remarks. I love your photos so much.

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  14. kerryl29 said

    Love these miniatures…marvelous art.

    I remember the first time I saw a raven (we don’t get them in the American Midwest) in person–in Utah, some years ago. I couldn’t get over how large it was…like a crow on PEDs. We do get both goldfinches and juncos (as you say, they rarely go to the feeders themselves, preferring to eat the spillage)…I do see bluebirds occasionally, but the Eastern variety only.

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  15. A pleasure as always! Thank you for sharing this story.

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  16. Thank you very much, Linda, and I hope any who read this will take a moment to view the stunningly gorgeous parrot you’ve posted today!

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  17. Very nice of you to tell me this, as birds are always a wonder to me as well. I used to have canaries, and then simply couldn’t abide seeing them penned-up. I used to let one of them fly around freely in my studio, but he actually got rather aggressive and visions of Hitchcock began surfacing. Eventually, I decided to confine my birdy appreciations to the ones outdoors. However, I imagine your mother is probably more advanced than I am on spotting multiple species in their natural habitats. Thank you for taking the time to come by.

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  18. I appreciate your seeking out my site to make these kind remarks. On your site, I love this quote of yours about Christmas: “. . . When we were children, it seemed as though time practically stood still, holding us against our will in a never ending prison of waiting and wanting . . . ” That is SO true! And for some reason the Advent Calendars almost made it worse! There were so many days, and each one lasted forever. Thank you again for coming by.

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  19. Your photographs of the Bosphorus are very lovely. Thank you for searching out my site and leaving your kind remarks, Nia!

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  20. niasunset said

    Beautiful, so beautiful… Fascinated me. Thank you, with my love, nia

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  21. Your paintings are truly beautiful! 🙂

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  22. Love them! Absolutely beautiful paintings in super frames.

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  23. My mother would really love these. She is an avid bird watcher!

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  24. I am not surprised to learn that you love birds, Jane, and feed them because I can just imagine the variety you must get in Alberta. We have virtually no Stellar Jays, but the Magpies make up for it with their loud squawks and bossy attitude.

    And I absolutely agree about affordable art. Of all the ones posted here, the priciest one was $500.00 and so they are all on walls and being cared-for and hopefully enjoyed, which is the whole point.

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  25. How very fortunate to have the Bluebirds close-by you there in Chatanooga. They are such a source of wonder and inspiration. When growing up in upstate New York I never once saw an Eastern Bluebird, and they are the State bird! But having the Mountain Bluebird near makes up for it big-time.

    Thank you, BoJo for visiting once again, and being so gracious. Your photos and portraits are a joy.

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  26. Thank you so much, David. You are certainly a person of many talents, from poems to stories to songs to paintings . . . it makes me curious as to whether or not you were/are on the stage?

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  27. I’m really glad you like them, ‘magsx2’–they are enjoyable to do, especially after finishing something large and complicated. I am wondering if you have Kookabera birds there? We learned a song about them when I was a child–“Laugh, Kookabera, laugh, Kookabera . . . ” So I wonder–do they actually laugh?

    Thank you for your comments about these birds, ‘magsx2’!

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  28. Smaller price points are essential to make original art accessible.
    This not only helps an artist gain new followers that will hopefully buy larger pieces when they can afford them, but can begin someone’s journey into the world of original art.

    I, too, am a bird lover. Our backyard has many feeders and my husband and get great enjoyment watching them.

    Lovely miniatures.

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  29. BoJo Photo said

    Nice info on the different species of birds.

    We have a few blue birds around our home.

    Beautiful paintings nicely framed.

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  30. dfb said

    Fabulous, very interesting post.

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  31. magsx2 said

    Hi,
    What a lovely collection of the different birds.

    In the first picture I noticed the beautiful frames around the birds, I especially liked the silver frame and the gold frame that you have around the Goldfinch. Gorgeous paintings too of the birds by the way, I love the one of the Bluebird, and the Goldfinch, really nice.

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