Friday, June 5, 2009
The fourth piece in my 'South Dakota Wildlife Series'
My goodness...what a challenge and a stretch this picture was! I learned so very much and thank Irina for another wonderful class. This one is titled 'Calm Morning on the Slough'...don't get many calm mornings on the High Plains! Our goal in the class was to learn how to use bark for sky and water. Since I don't find birch bark in this area that is readily available (would have to raid someone's yard tree!) a friend from the WWPFG sent me some from Pennsylvania...thanks, Nancy!
Birch bark is a tricky material to work with. If it is cut from the tree in the spring when the sap is running, I understand that it is easier to separate into thin sheets. And besides the obvious white their are a variety of pinks, yellows and beige colors in the individual sheets. All of the material used for the sky and water are done with sheets of birch bark. The muskrat houses are made of the faded day lily leaves. The trees are made of various skeletonized leaves and the mallard ducks are made of white poplar, banana skin and fall leaves.
Oh, just a bit more info about the muskrat houses that I didn't know til recently...ducks and geese sometimes make their nests right on top of these houses...high and dry and with a pent house view to boot!