Hummingbird Swing

I hope you had a joyous and spiritually restful Easter weekend. Now that my Easter art posts are finished, “Stories that Inspire my Art” series is back on track here on the blog. You’ll feel warm and fuzzy when you see the amazing real life video update to the story! But first, here’s a 1 minute time lapse to watch me paint a hummingbird.

Watch me paint Hummingbird in a minute (time lapse)

“We bought the hummingbirds a bird swing that advertised the claim that hummingbirds will use it. They’ve not tried it once. But oddly, a couple of other larger birds did, including a silly young cardinal.”

– from the book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

I was astonished and delighted to find a tiny hummingbird leisurely swinging on the swing we bought for him and his friends! I took this short video from inside the house. I was convinced that he was making the swing move, but as you can see there was a bit of a breeze, so I may have been wrong about that.

Regardless, he was clearly staying on the swing because it amused him or interested him in some way. Hummingbirds don’t usually stay in one place for long and it’s rare to see one so relaxed. It looks like he’s lost in thought, doesn’t it?

When you watch this little bird swing, how do you feel? Simple creatures eat, drink, interact socially, and even try new adventures, such as sitting in this swing. Is he resting, relaxing, contemplating, or merely satisfying his curiosity about this unusual branch of the tree? We are far from simple, but perhaps a hummingbird can inspire us humans with all of our complexity.

Sometimes it’s better not to overthink an unexpected opportunity that suddenly appears in our flight path. Take a seat, enjoy the ride, let your spirit rest. Maybe the swing was left there especially for you.

Patio Friends

First, the oil painting, then the story behind it… make sure you don’t miss the footage I took from my patio.

Watch me paint this hummingbird in under a minute (time lapse)

“This is a little guy that visits our patio feeder regularly. I get so much joy from seeing birds. It’s hard to explain why it would even matter to see these tiny creatures, but it feels like a gift every time …
We have several varieties of hummingbirds and sometimes they fight. I call their battles “Humming Wars” because their flight patterns and the whoosh/zoom noise they make reminds me of Star Wars’ special effects. Sometimes one of them will blitz by our heads if we are in their flight path.
It’s a privilege when the hummingbirds interact with us. When they’re just peeking inside the glass to beg for their feeder to be filled, it’s not a high quality conversation, but there have been rare occasions when they’ve communicated with us without apparent self-serving motive. I was sitting on the swing one evening with my husband. We were quietly talking, when a hummingbird appeared. He looked directly at me, and then zipped toward my head, and hovered only a few inches from my face. It was a bit unnerving, as we made unwavering eye contact for several seconds. Then, I guess his curiosity was satisfied because he left. I could exhale again, whew! I thought he might have tried pecking at my nose for nectar.”

– from the book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

My phone app alerted me that animated gifs were automatically generated from my photo albums. My pictures of one of our patio friends have now made this ruby throated hummingbird a movie star, debuting right here on this blog! (see gif below)

Hummingbird feeders take up very little space and you can enjoy them on a small patio or balcony. When your circumstances restrict you from a big garden, you don’t have to deprive yourself of patio friends. When we feed the birds, they visit us, and they are delightful company!