…..blue jays and mountain ash, stage 1

October 25, 2015

One Jay we do not have in the West is the Blue Jay.  The ‘why’ of this is puzzling simply because the weather and climate here rather mirror that of Eastern Provinces and States (minus the humidity, thank heaven).

As annoying as this bird can be, the sheer pleasure it appears to take in creating continuous drama — the screeching cry it passes off as ‘song’ turns the lovely silence of a Sunday morning into a birdie alarm clock — makes the Blue Jay an attention receiver (like that kid you always remember from Grade 4).

And….the Blue Jay–like most Jays–is beautiful.


Their blue, black and white colouration is as dramatic as the Blue Jay personality.  They have the ability to turn any bird feeder situation into a Three Stooges food fight.  And for all these reasons, make a great subject for painting.

A favourite natural food in Winter is the Mountain Ash berry.


These trees are in abundance here in Southern British Columbia, and grow very large, and are responsible for allowing the N. American Robin to return very early–often at the end of February–sustaining them until the ground becomes warm enough for pursuing worms.

Choosing both Blue Jays and Mountain Ash in Winter makes for great contrast in colour, and a lively composition for painting.

Now we’ll just have to see how it all turns out….

13 Responses to “…..blue jays and mountain ash, stage 1”

  1. (big smile)–you know, your having done that watercolour workshop nearby here on the coast (which I can’t seem to find on your blog–nor do you mention your teaching sessions in watercolour and drawing), I began thinking you live in the West. Returning to your ‘About’ page I am reminded that no, you live in Kentucky. So, ok, you’ve got humidity issues — but you’ve got that treasured Blue Grass region, not to mention the Appalachians and their wonderful moodiness and historic aura.


  2. …..ah! Australia (I recall from a not-too-recent conversation) has a comparably-annoying bird, the Kookaburra, yes? One of your compatriots said they can wake the dead, and wreak havoc, yet are very attractive to look at. It seems we humans require reminders that it is we who encroach on wildlife, so we’re sent irritating messengers to keep us in our place. Another bird which ruins picnics in your country is the Emu, I believe, right? Eats hot dogs right off the grill? Oh, give me a Blue Jay any day of the week! Thank you Deb!


  3. Do you have to rub the humidity in sir? (:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. debiriley said

    love the info here! 🙂 blue jays were one of my fav birds as a child; thanks for sharing… no blue jays in australia! keep us posted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. …..Teri, your work inspires and your new site must give you much pleasure, thank you for the encouragement today!


  6. Teri C said

    This is such a beautiful piece of art!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It made my sunday morning, Lance. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ….I knew that reference would date me, Cynthia–but there wasn’t any other which compared. As a kid, we’d watch all the reruns after church on Sundays, and particularly enjoyed seeing the overly-iced piece of cake hit the matronly party hostess right in the kisser (reminded us of our Sunday School teacher, I suppose). And then delighted more, watching her get into the action herself! Thank you for sharing my laugh, Cynthia!


  9. “..a three stooges food fight”…ha! brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ….thank you Catherine, and I hope you get lots of visitors to see your flying super mummy (smile)


  11. Catherine Johnson said

    It looks great so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ….and THANK YOU Sharon, for coming by again and giving me another boost–one bird-lover to another.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Good morning Lance, thank you for the preparation narrative for your new painting. I will look forward to seeing the finished drama of the Blue Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

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