Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Three Feathers by Wen Redmond. Sewn watercolor and masa papers, acrylics, collaged digital images, monoprinting, inks. See Wen's website here.

Whenever I find a feather I'm taken back in time to my first year of school. We had a large, low, square table in the front of the classroom which was the designated Nature Table. I loved the nature table! It made Monday mornings very exciting because there were always new gatherings after the weekend. Sea shells, porcupine quills, snake skins, birds nests, wasps nests and an abundance of feathers from many different birds ..... most of which were provided by me. The large quill feathers were arranged in an open calabash (gourd). Even now, umpteen years later this calabash flashes through my mind whenever I find a feather.


Silence Spoken by Lewis Knauss

This piece is by Novie Trump. See Novie's Flickr photo stream here and blog here.

Paper Cuts by Lucy Player. See Lucy's Flickr photo stream here.

the lightness
sweeps through the feathers
lifting my spirits

Turkey Feathers by Amber Alexander. See Blog here and Etsy shop here.

Jude Hill's beautiful Feathers. See blog post here.

Far by Feather by Louise Richardson. See more here.

Nest IV. Mixed Media: distressed twine, wire mesh, twigs and feathers by Natasha Duwin. Website here.

Library of Babel by Brody Neuenschwander. Website here.

Feather. Metal wall sculpture by Mark Goodier

Starlings in Winter

by Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

Wing and stone for Morgan. Watercolor by Tim O'Kane. Website here.

Uccelli by Tim O'Kane. Website here.


  1. the lightness
    sweeps through the feathers
    lifting my spirits

  2. You find such wonderful treasures, Robyn, I am always inspired when I visit your blog. I love the idea of the nature table, I too am one of those people who cannot visit a beach without bringing home shells, who pick up every feather I see as if it is a precious gift left just for me (because I still believe it is!), stones and bits of driftwood clutter my shelves. Somehow they seem so much more like treasure than anything man-made.

  3. I do love that story from your school room Robyn!
    How those things live on.
    Enchantment in abundance here.... thank you!

  4. "an abundance of feathers from many different birds ..... most of which were provided by me." Of course!

    A rich chock-full post. I doubt if you will ever run out of art that connects in a beautiful way to your topic of the day Robyn. You are simply amazing!

    Thank you again.

  5. what a beautiful post. and so honored to be included in such a great collection. thank you.

  6. oh, those watercolor feathers... but everything, really... i've clicked and clicked. thank you (as always) robyn...


    a feather lover

  7. Beautiful, beautiful images, Robyn!
    Thanks so much for sharing them. I'm off to follow the links! Best...

  8. I cant pass a feather by without picking it up, then sadly after a while they seem to rot away ( well 2 -3 years!)
    I have feathers every where, tucked in vases, in and on things.
    Great post as usual.
    Oh and I posted your win last Friday so look for it.

  9. I just love all the workwomanship you have done with feathers. Divine! Just so beautiful and they help connect us to our feathered friends too. I have a small collection also and just love to look out to see our chooks running flat out in their yard enjoying their freedom!

  10. Thank you for this beautiful and uplifting post all based on that miracle of nature - the feather.

  11. This selection of photos is simply extraordinary, I love everything here!

  12. Feathers and leaves, their relatives - a poor world it´d be without them - thanks for the uplifting...

  13. Your posts are always inspiring!! I have 2 milk glass containers filled with feathers of all hues! I have always saved them and always wanted to do something with them.....I may have to take them, and my rocks (yes, collect those too!) and post some pix of them.

  14. I am so glad we met! your posts leave me breathless! I too pick up feathers everywhere..unfortunely I cant leave them out as my indoor cats think they are the entire bird! this mornings feather news is just wonderful.thank you!

  15. Feathers are one of the Ultimate Beauties!

  16. Oh my, this post absolutely made my heart race, lifted my spirit. I can remember those bits and pieces of nature that people would bring to school. I am still bringing those bits and pieces to my home.

  17. R - you are a gem to find such inspirational artists and sites based on a theme. It must take a lot of time and the sharing is really appreciated - thanks. Who would have thought there were so many ways to play with feathers. B

  18. A wonderful array of art and feathers, all different in their own right, but all linked by a feather. Mary's poem is so lovely too.

  19. It's all amazingly beautiful and rich with texture and soul. Thank you for the feature:) I also cannot pass a feather on the ground. :)

  20. beautiful !!
    After visiting your blog,
    "I can fly"

  21. a wonderful post ... enjoyed every single item ... love that poem (the book, the Brody and so much more)... thank you so much ... GINA

  22. wonderful story Robyn, what a great teacher to have a nature table in class... lovely post as always, "I want to be light and frolicsome and though I had wings" too! xo

  23. Robyn, you've gathered together some fascinating work here. Looking forward to my coffee break so I can have a closer look.

    Each time I see a feather on the ground, I am truly amazed. So delicate and so sturdy at the same time.

  24. I really like "Silence Spoken." It's like a book - perhaps a metaphor of how we can fly away to a different world while reading?

  25. comme toujours ..un 'post'magnifique! à regarder plusieurs fois!

  26. I love that Tim O'Kane Robyn - feathers are fascinating aren't they.

  27. Beautiful and inspiring again! Thank you!

  28. Great post, and what a lovely story. Its good to hear that I am not the only one who collects feathers. I always get funny looks when I stop to pick one up in the street. Penny - none of mine have gone rotten yet and I've been collecting for years.

    The poem is really beautiful, I have never seen it before thanks for sharing it, I love it.

  29. ahh, the way i see it, Robyn your blog is like the Nature table--

    A digital nature table. You bring it to us. We get to view, "a collection of an abundance of feathers from many different birds {artists} ..... most of which were provided by me"; You.

    Its pretty beautiful! You are the same you.
    thank you.


  30. Ah, the 'nature table'. What memories. I can remember reinstating such a table when I with chldren. The wonder and joy on their faces as they brought n their finds, stays with me still.

    Tankyou for all the images.

  31. I love visiting your blog. Always beautiful images, terrific work.
    thank you

  32. It's nice to see how many artists are inspired by feathers and how many people are impressed by them and birds'flying... Thank you for this moving trip in the "bird theme" that will never cease to amaze and arouse curiosity and admiration!

  33. Isn't it just amazing how we (most of us) remember our first day at school? And another wonder that that first day influences us beyond measure for the rest of our lives? Mine was the library at my new school. I found a treasure: a scratch and sniff book!! Now, here I am, a librarian writing to you about my first day at school.
    I really love this post of yours for that, Robyn.

  34. I adore feathers and what you have shared here is fantastic for me.

    There's so much I could say about feathers.

    I've had a lovey time here today, feasting on all the posts that I've missed in recent weeks.

    Love what you share.
    Thanks again

    best wishes
    Robyn x

  35. Hi Robyn, what a fabulous post about feathers. When I find a feather, it is a signal from the universe to know that good things [even miracles] are coming my way. I had a vivid and strange dream last night about feathers as well. Thank you for the message xoxoxo

  36. Neva, your words so delighted me that i incorporated them in the post. Thank you!

    A mermaid in the attic, gathering bits and pieces is one of the most satisfying passtimes!

  37. The metal feather wall sculpture is beautiful - I love it.

  38. There is something so vulnerable about a feather as well as the fact that its soft delicate nature is the source of a bird's protection. The art that you've shown us here so perfectly captures that vulnerability. I'm especially drawn to Brody Neuschwander's work in which the feather becomes a vehicle for language. Thanks as always!

  39. Oh I love "Uccelli" by Tim O'Kane...what a wonderful artist and photographer.

    They are all so beautiful and each one touches a note somewhere within...I wonder what it is about feathers?

    I remember those nature tables too...I think many of us still have our own little nature tables/collections. You feel so good when you pick up a smooth stone, a feather, a leaf ...a real connection.

    Jacky xox

  40. What a beautiful post. Every class should have a 'Nature Table'. Maybe more children will grow up to respect nature, themselves and others.

  41. I had to bypass a beautiful dead raven on the road today as it's illegal to possess their feathers here. i must say I was temped though. I would have loved to use them in some creation.

  42. Sophie, school memories ...some good.

    Thanks so much Leslie.

    Jude, glad you enjoyed the post.

    Lynne, I thought you might enjoy a feather post :-)

    Gloria, enjoy!

    Penny, thank you....I will watch the post.

    Susiqu, there are some amazing artists out there, all interpreting things in their own unique way.

    Ian, so glad you enjoyed the post.

    Bicacolors, it was fun gatyhering the art for this post.

    Ger, yes.. what would we do without nature's treasures.

    Oogleboops, looking forward to the pics!

    Lyle, lol....I am imagining the nonsense your cats get up to.

    Gwen, exactly!

    Lisa at Greenbow, ditto! My home is overflowing with too much everything.

    Barry, artists have the most wonderful imaginations don't they!?

    Ro, I just had to include Mary Oliver's poem.

    Amber, your painting is beautiful in its simplicity. The essence of feather.

    Wim :-)

    Gina, glad you enjoyed the post.

    Cat, that nature table was a highlight . One of the things that stands out in my mind. Most of my school days were not so pleasant.

    Kim .... and to think they are a means to flight.

    Heather, I have featured "Silence Spoken" before. It is intriguing isn't it?

    Elfi, enjoy!

    Weaver, This is the second time I have featured Tim's work. Amazing artist!

    Cerulean, glad you enjjoyed the post.

    Angela, I'm so glad I have introduced you to a new Mar Oliver poem. So many bloggers love her poetry.

    Mansuetude, a digital nature table .... i like that!

    HHnB, I was wondering if teachers still encouraged their pupils to gather bits and pieces for the nature table.....

    Thanks Rebeca.

    Rossichka, yes people do seem ti be forever intrigued by anything bird orientated.

    Debrina, aah the library ...another happy memory.

    Robyn, thank you.

    Noella, yes I also look upon feathers as messages..... especially the soft floaty ones that waft into my life and out again.

    Ross, the metal feather also grabbed my attention.

    Hannah, the vulnerability and the strength of a feather.... and the fact that they enable a bird to fly.

  43. Jacky, yes I still have my nater table ....s.

    Don, I would be very surprised and sad to hear that there are no longer nature tables especially in the early grades at school.

    Kim, I had no idea that the possession of ravens feathers would be illegal. There are certain birds that were killed for their feathers here too.I think the Paradise Flycatchers and Loeries are now protected because of that.

  44. what a wonderful memory, and teaching feature for a classroom! Yes, there is something so magical abut feathers, and finding them always brings a thrill to my heart as well! Gorgeous feather picks Robyn, thank you as always! xox

  45. you always find the most glorious art. no need to venture any further than your blog for the best inspiration. i especially love the multi media works!

  46. I love the way there's always something here that is interesting to me! I always pick up feathers - have a big stock, cos you never know when you might need one!

  47. Another great post Robyn, it's always a pleasure to visit.
    Have a great sunday!

  48. what a wonderful post! i adore feathers and had a huge, ornate antique jar of them for years, but gave it to a friend's son one day when he was sad and told me "feathers are happy thoughts, you know". i thought that was sweet, though i miss them so!

    you always have the best posts and most gorgeous art featured!

  49. ...well y nearly done y' self out of a doughnut there, but I'll let you off for such a lovely feathery post! x;D
    Big loves to you and the Propellery Crew! xx

  50. be still my heart, so much gorgeous feather art.
    Mary's poem was lovely to take in as well.
    Thank you.

  51. Oh Robyn dear...I feel lighter and lifted...transported by these beautiful works of art...by sweet Mary Oliver...and even a quote by our friend Neva!!!

    lovely, lovely post. Thank you.

  52. Great post and thank you for including my work!!
    feathers seem to just drop out of the sky. (hmmm)

  53. Excellent post - thank you! I have a box full of lovely feathers - I collect them all the time! I can remember nature tables at school too and I'm certain these started my love of picking up discarded bits and bobs to display!

  54. These are like a miracle!!!
    Amazing! Beautiful!
    Found a crane's feather last week during my holiday and carefully carried it home.
    Painting and drawing feathers has always been one of my favoutites!