Story: A little while ago a friend texted me "Thought of you when we read Isaiah 34:15."
Huh? I was confused. And a little worried what they had read in the Bible that made them think of me. Had I done something wrong? It turned out that this scripture mentions the "nightjar." I didn't know what that was, but my friend told me it is an owl-type bird with big beautiful eyes. She suggested it as a subject for another one of my bird drawings. It was a really good idea, made even better by whats written in the paragraph surrounding the mention of the nightjar. Beautifully descriptive language of destruction...
Isaiah 34:9-15 And her torrents must be changed into pitch, and her dust into sulphur; and her land must become as burning pitch. By night or by day it will not be extinguished; to time indefinite its smoke will keep ascending. From generation to generation she will be parched; forever and ever no one will be passing across her. And the pelican and the porcupine must take possession of her, and long-eared owls and ravens themselves will reside in her; and he must stretch out over her the measuring line of emptiness and the stones of wasteness. Her nobles—there are none there whom they will call to the kingship itself, and her very princes will all become nothing. On her dwelling towers thorns must come up, nettles and thorny weeds in her fortified places; and she must become an abiding place of jackals, the courtyard for the ostriches. And haunters of waterless regions must meet up with howling animals, and even the goat-shaped demon will call to its companion. Yes, there the nightjar will certainly take its ease and find for itself a resting-place. There the arrow snake has made its nest and lays [eggs], and it must hatch [them] and gather [them] together under its shadow. Yes, there the gledes must collect themselves together, each one with her mate.
I loved it. All those interesting animals roaming about in the smoking wasteland... Amazing!
So I took my usual 2 month "think about it" time to lay it out in my head and just this week started sketching it out. Not a direct representation of everything mentioned there, but very much inspired by it.
The nightjar really is a beautiful bird, I loved drawing him. A little more exciting though was drawing the porcupine, something I probably would't have gone to otherwise. He's a punk, you can tell, but he has a sadness in him too. The weight of all those quills on his back. Protection and burden at the same time...
The linework is just about finished, so I'll be posting again soon. It's been interesting (I think!) to see this one evolve.