Monday, 27 October 2014


The Mighty Wren!

The wren is the smallest of garden birds, yet for its size this diminutive avian has, gram for gram, the loudest voice! Quite surprising!

As I was contemplating the subject matter for my next art work, I was thinking of drawing something dramatic like a wolf, or admired in the UK, like a fox. However, a series of personal events occured during this period that made me look hard at a few matters in my life. The most significant being that a good and dear friend passed away suddenly. Whilst dealing with my grief, it made me look at what's important in my life and re-prioritise a few things and then quite unexpectedly, I had the vision of a little wren hiding in the hedgerow and I knew this had to be the subject matter of my next work.

Hidden © 2014 Angela Cutler

At the time I didn't know why I should draw a wren as it seemed the farthest away from something large, mammalian and dramatic; but the image seemed burned into my mind so I went with it.

When I start a new piece I have an idea and it just feels right for that moment. I often have a clear idea of how I want the main pencilled image to look, but not always a clear idea of the background. For this piece, I knew that I needed to have the little wren hidden away in the undergrowth as is their natural nature to do. Apparently, they are one of the most common garden birds, but due to their tiny size and secretive natures, we don't often see them. We only notice them by their very loud, shrill warbling song.

My little wren coming to life. ©2014 Angela Cutler

Earlier this year whilst on holiday in Somerset, I took several photos of the spring flowering hedgerows as they were so pretty and delicate. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to incorporate the hedgerow plants in my drawing as I didn't want it to become too could be easy to over-power the little wren. I just wanted a hint of hedgerow so I drew a few pretty campions, grass and a fern - just enough to give a flavour.

This picture was a little bit of a departure for me, as with my last drawing - Sing for the Sun - I added a hint of colour to the pencilled bird and I was aware that the flowers made putting in the background a little trickier. I wanted the feeling of the bird hiding in the darkness of the undergrowth, but with the light from outside filtering in...perhaps even calling to him to come out.

Wren study © 2014 Angela Cutler

It was then, only once I finished the drawing and even a week afterwards, that I realised what the meaning of it is. Sometimes, you need to step out of a life situation or out of what you are or have become, to chooose between the dark and light or perhaps out of a situation in life that arose, make your voice heard and stand up for what you believe is right and make that change! But I am just as happy if you see my drawing as a pretty wren in the hedgerow.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at the little wren and my background narrative. Please Like on Google+ or leave a comment.