Art and Birding Workshop

People are becoming more aware of the birds in their own backyards during quarantine, and many more people are becoming birders. This silver lining of taking more time to notice and listen to the life around us is one that I hope we can carry with us beyond these challenging times. In this class we will focus on the group of birds known as seabirds. There are many species of seabirds that are foraging just offshore in the Winter, so now is a great time to learn a little bit more about the beautiful seabirds that call MA home during this season. We will start with a slide show illustrating many of the species you can expect to see, and some of the coastal areas that are best for spotting them.  We will then draw (or paint, if you have watercolors) a particular species of seabird from a photo. This class will be very interactive and allow for questions about local birds that participants are seeing and hearing.

As a life-long artist and biologist, I love to teach the art of noticing – let go of what you think something should look like, and notice the shapes and darks and lights first, not the overall outline of an object. We will work on pencil drawings of birds by experimenting with techniques (shading and smudging, etc.), focusing on ways to make our drawings look most realistic. If we have time (and participants have paints) we will also practice some watercolor techniques for painting waterfowl and water. I have really enjoyed teaching parents and their children together – often kids feel a little more free to make mistakes if they see their parents willing to try and try again.

Materials: pencil, paper, eraser; watercolor optional; binoculars and field guide to birds helpful but not required.

Classes will be held virtually using Zoom and Google Classroom depending on the teacher’s preference.  For questions email Caroline Provost at caroline@theumbrellaarts.org.

Instructor: Becky Harris
Becky Harris teaches Conservation Biology at Tufts University for the Masters in Conservation Medicine Program. She was previously the Director of Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Program where she oversaw monitoring, management, and protection of threatened beach nesting birds and their habitats at over 100 sites throughout southeastern MA.  She founded and directed the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET) at Tufts... Learn More »
Age range: 
Kids and Families
Students min/max: 
15
Duration: 
Saturday, December 12
Day/time: 
Saturdays, December 12, 10-11am
Dates: 
December 12, 2020
Location: 
Zoom Conference Call
Cost: 
$20