Bluebird of Happiness Print

This is the first year I've ever seen Western Bluebirds in my neighborhood. They've been hanging around the Hawthorne street trees, snatching up all remaining berries and resting on telephone lines. A kind of flycatcher, they swoop out periodically to catch a bug, swoop down to check out a worm. They are delightful to watch, and they made me happy, so I created a new year's print in their honor.

The birds are shy and move so fast I had to draw them from pictures online. The males are brilliant blue; the females are a subtler gray-blue. I started with some sketches, shading with watercolor pencils. I grouped them to fit the block and pencilled them onto tracing paper. After tracing the images onto the block with ballpoint pen, I went over the lines on the block with the pen.

After locking the block securely onto the press, I printed color after color, all in one long day. Here is the block after I carved away everything except the final dark blue-black.

I've added the Bluebird of Happiness Print to my Etsy store to share the happiness with you, if you like.

There she is again, the only one I've managed to photograph.