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Spotlight: Beautiful blue jays

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    Pam Noah, left, and Wendy Noah, both of White Haven, hold a stuffed blue jay during art class on painting blue jays held at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center.

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    Sherry Ferguson of Towamensing Township paints a blue jay during a water color painting class at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center.

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    Pat Wagner of Jim Thorpe draws a fall blue jay scene using watercolors at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

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    Art instructor Jean Perry, left, of McMichaels, conducts class on painting blue jays. The session was held at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center in Summit Hill.

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    Art instructor Jean Perry, left, of McMichaels, conducts class on painting blue jays. The session was held at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center in Summit Hill.

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    Pat Wagner of Jim Thorpe paints a blue jay on a branch in an autumn setting during water color painting class held at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center.

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    Line drawings
    help artists draw
    blue jays during
    a watercolor class.

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    Phil and Debbie Yeager of Bear Creek in Luzerne County draw blue jays during a watercolor painting class at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center.

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    Pat Wagner of Jim Thorpe puts finishing touches on her water color drawing of a blue jay at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center.

Published January 19. 2019 06:29AM

 

Some bird lovers consider blue jays to be mean and aggressive, but some artists in Carbon County found them to be quite alluring.

The colorful bird with the prominent crest was the subject of a class on painting with watercolors held at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center in Summit Hill.

The workshop was conducted by Jean Perry of McMichaels, Monroe County, an educator and lecturer on art. Perry gave instructions, guidance and encouragement to the seven adults — six women and one man — who participated.

Each artist had in front of them a colorful photo of blue jays to facilitate them with their creations. There also were line drawings with instructions on drawing techniques.

Perry said she selected blue jays as the subject because, “I thought they show so well in the winter against the snow and winter trees.”

“People usually pick cardinals (for art projects),” she said. “I thought I would try something different. Blue jays are so colorful.”

Pat Wagner of Jim Thorpe drew a fall scene with a blue jay sitting on a tree branch amid colorful leaves.

Gail Bamford, also of Jim Thorpe, sketched a winter scene with a blue jay perched on a branch with a grayish hue in the background.

Pam Noah and Wendy Noah, both of White Haven, not only had a magazine cover for a guide, they also had a stuffed blue jay that they handled and examined for detail. Both said they are intrigued by the species and enjoy them. They even took a selfie with the stuffed bird.

Wagner said she enjoys drawing.

“It’s something great to do in winter,” she said.

She said she attended Perry’s class because, “I like to see techniques of other artists.”

Bamford explained why she came to the CCEEC event.

“I don’t know much about watercolor painting and I wanted to learn more,” she said.

Sherry Ferguson of Towamensing Township said she came because of Perry.

“I know Jean and I’ve been attending some of her classes,” she said. “I majored in fine art in college and have been staying with it.”

Perry said she has been an artist all her life. She majored in art while in college and teaches students and art history classes. She does special lectures on art.

She started as a grammar schoolteacher and eventually went on to teach at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey where she met her husband.

She presently teaches at Northampton County Community College where she has been an instructor for 21 years.

Besides periodically holding classes at the CCEEC, she also has sessions at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Brodheadsville and at Warren County Arts in Oxford, New Jersey.

At the CCEEC, she previously conducted drawing instructions on owls, scarecrows, still life and foxes.

Her next session will be Feb. 9, when she will help people draw trees using pastels.

She said the CCEEC classes are primarily for adults, and the participants range from beginner to experienced.

“I’m finding with my classes I have a large variety of experience,” she said. “People not experienced will need more assistance.”

Sometimes people excel best with specific subjects, she said.

As she talked with the reporter, she frequently turned her attention to the students, offering such advice as:

• Start at the top of the head of the bird when you draw it.

• Look real good at this bird before throwing in features.

She advised the students that especially prominent on blue jays were the species’s distinguished crest and bold, black necklace.

For Phil and Debbie Yeager of Bear Creek, Luzerne County, this was their first time attended an art class at CCEEC. Phil said they have visited the center on numerous occasions and enjoy spending time here viewing the animals and exhibits.

“We like drawing, so we thought we’d get out and do something,” Phil said.

Both said they were novices in art, but by the time the class was over, both had drawings worthy of framing.

The sessions were held in an inside classroom of the CCEEC. As they were doing their drawings, they artists got a special treat.

The participants of the class got a bonus. Just outside their window, in some bushes only a few feet away, several real blue jays appeared. They remained there for quite a spell, allowing the artists to see their subject species up close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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