04 June, 2013

Chicken Scratch; Wild birds

Digitally drawn tee shirt design
Cindy Schnackel


Chicken Scratch is drawn quickly in Photoshop, with a mouse, directly onto the tee shirt template Redbubble provides.  I enjoy drawing these simple cartoony characters and they work well on tee shirts.  The dots on the chicken's neck are actually unprinted areas. They'll show the shirt color and increase air flow through the design.  My husband and I have several tees from Redbubble now and really like them.  The shirt fits well, is cool, (very important here when it's 110+ in summer!), and the printing has always been true to the art that's on it, even when I used one of my paintings that had a lot of detail and shading. I prefer bold graphic designs on a shirt, and less ink, so sometimes I make my cartoonier pieces into shirts. 


If you're into wildlife and birds, check out Wildcare Oklahoma's Facebook page or their regular site, Wildcare Oklahoma  We lived in the OKC area for a few years and got to know this organization and the amazing woman who heads it up, Rondi Large. They do incredible things.  We discovered Wildcare when we found an orphaned baby finch after a bad storm. We've been fans of them since.  As you probably know, Oklahoma got ripped by numerous tornadoes and hail storms in May.  Wildcare also got some damage and sadly they reported some birds were killed. They've had lots of orphaned and injured wildlife brought to them.  If you're looking for an animal rescue to donate to, I really love this one, and it's nice to have gotten a chance to see it in action and know the money's going to the animals.

In our own backyard here in Phoenix, we finally got a couple of bird feeders again.  Just a thistle seed sock, and a small mesh ball for holding chunky stuff like peanuts and dried fruit.  Goldfinches found the 'sock' within the first day it was hung.  Within about 4 days, feral lovebirds and a native curved billed thrasher were getting the goodies out of the mesh ball.  We hope that it's cool enough in the morning to sit outside this weekend and try to get some snapshots of them feeding.  Below is a snapshot I took last year of the feral lovebird flock. They're quite common in Phoenix now, though not native. They are native to Africa.

The lovebirds don't seem to like going on the ground.  We throw out uneaten bird food from our cockatiels every morning, and it's quickly gobbled up by several species of dove and pigeon, and sometimes trashers. But little else lands on the ground. Could be the numerous stray cats in the area make them afraid to.  But they like hanging feeders really well!

Though it's unlikely you'll see realistic drawings or paintings of birds in my portfolio, no doubt the feeders will attract some birds that, in spirit anyway, end up in my work sooner or later.