I consider myself both a designer and an environmentalist. I am all about the wild-things AND the domestic pets. But the birds, particularly the BIMBY or Birds-In-My-Back-Yard, jump start my creative juices. Creating ART from the little birds that frequent the many fountains and feeders in my Victorian garden on the Westside of Santa Cruz couldn’t be more rewarding. I live here with my family, 4 dogs and a cat named Woody.
I have my bachelor’s degree in ART with emphasis in Textile Design with most of my
training in BATIK. (BATIK is a ancient method of creating fabric that involves applying hot wax and dyes or inks repeatedly to a piece of fabric, alternating the wax and dyes to achieve unique patterns and designs.)
To create a new piece, I like to start with a photograph which inspires a drawing that might become a watercolor and, if the design is right, I will create the BATIK. I have to be very selective as to which designs become BATIKS. Each piece can take weeks/months to create, and knowing what works and what doesn’t is pretty important.
The best designs are put onto the computer, often altered a bit, combining and repositioning. They become illustrations that are turned into greeting cards and silk prints. These are the heart of my business on Etsy.com/Shop/LadyWhoLovesBirds). My BATIK originals and large prints can be viewed on my website,
LadyWhoLovesBirds.com. I also open my studio, which is in the ground level basement
of my home, for our county wide Open Studios during the month of October and for the
My love of birds started with me simply being more observant of the visitors coming to my home many years ago. My very first such observation was an Audubon warbler that came back year after year. He was extremely territorial and would chase away other little birds, one in particular (turned out to be a Townsend warbler) that also liked our yard. He really DEMANDED my attention!! I began realizing that there were many birds that visited. I felt blessed and wanted to know about them. I picked up a beginner’s birding book and started identifying MY BIMBY. They now form the
basis of much of my art business, LadyWhoLovesBirds: bushtits, chestnut-backed chickadees, scrub jays, mourning doves, hermit thrushes, ruby-crowned kinglets, juncos, pygmy and red-breasted nuthatches, cedar waxwings, Audubon warblers, and of course, CROWS!
So in closing, I hope you will take a look in your yard and your neighborhood, and find out WHO are YOUR BIMBY?
And just thinking about those of us in California....we need to start putting out water daily for the wildlife, just a bowl will do. Water is becoming pretty scarce!
Thank you for visiting my VAN Page.
Alexandra Sanders, the LadyWhoLovesBirds
Santa Cruz, CA