Australian Birds

The Mistletoe bird and Silver Eyes bird are native to Australia.

I did these two drawings 12 years ago while spending 3 months in Australia/New Zealand.

Mistletoe Bird

The Mistletoe guy is a tiny mistletoe-feeding specialist (frugivore) who dines on the fruit of the mistletoes which grow on the millions of miles of Eucalyptus trees. He is known for the efficient way he poops on the tree limbs and spreads the “seeds of love” (reference to our habit of kissing under the mistletoe).

This story was told to me by a local farmer.  He said the farmers shoot the birds because “they spread that parasite, the mistletoe, with their sticky poop.”  He apologized when he saw I was shocked and then said, “We don’t do that anymore … that was done in the 1930’s.”  There were many birds that day.

Silver Eyes 8″X11″ Silverpoint on Paper

In another part of Australia there were birds called “Silver Eyes” flitting thru the trees. They have a distinctive circle of white feathers around their eye defined by a fine black line. They fly in flocks and are so tiny they can fly thru the netting the orchardists spread over their crops … thereby they are seen as “pests” although they perform the valuable service of eating vast quantities of insects.         

Let us live in harmony with the creatures around us!

Now … “SILVERPOINT” … a type of drawing in which an artist uses thin pieces of silver wire held in a stylus to make marks on paper.” It was used by scribes and craftsmen since ancient times, and was favored by Durer and Da Vinci.  The discovery of graphite deposits in England in the 1500’s hastened the decline of the silverpoint technique. A pencil is easier to use!  I was sure you needed to know this trivia.

Exotic Feathers

A new painting:

Exotic Feathers, by Mary P. Williams. 16″ x 16″, oil on wood panel

A new painting:

The Snowball

A new painting:

The Snowball by Mary P Williams.
Oil on wood panel, 16″ x 16″

The Verdin


The Verdin

The Verdin

You tiny puff of feathers

with orange shoulder patch

sing your piping song.

I’ll sing along …

Our Divided Country

Inauguration Day, January 2021, brings our divided country into sharp focus. This is my response to the almost 50/50 divide in our political arena. The hope is that the apples can at least acknowledge that the pears have a world view that they think is sensible and vice versa. Compromise is a necessity!

The seasons roll by and the decades roll by and celestial events occur. Our small affairs seem insignificant in the unfolding of geological time.

Here is one moment in time caught in a painting of the boy Elias, Poppa Doyle, and the dog, Trouble. Each Spring we see the alpine Lupine bloom. Then the summer meadows turn green, followed by the golden Aspens shedding their leaves as the first Winter snows arrive. Here I celebrate the seasons and the ongoing generations of my family.

Gingko and Buckwheat by Mary P Williams

The Ginkgo trees are doing their Autumn dance and are flaming yellow. The Buckwheat plants on the eastern side of the Sierra are producing tiny seeds to feed the birds and mice. It is a splendid season and reflective time for a look back at this year of upsets.  There was a pandemic, roaring fires, hurricanes and tornadoes and sorrow for 215,000 deaths in the U.S. … but the planet rolls on thru space. This painting celebrates the ongoing seasons. Soon it will be a New Year and the Ginkgo will grow new leaves and the Buckeye will scatter new seeds to be eaten. 

Into The Void

Greetings dear friends … if you wondered about my recent silence … here is the reason for my silence. … I have been hard at work on this oil painting. Feeling unable to express, in words, my sorrow about the wretched physical and political state of my country, America … I have resorted to attempting to convey those feelings in a painting.

Into The Void

Into The Void. COVID-19. 150,00 souls go to the stars by 7/29/20 Mary P Williams 4′ x 5′ oil on canvas

Since we are all composed of stardust I will modify the Longfellow poem to say :
“Stardust thou art to stardust returneth…”

The Covid-19 pandemic rages on here in the U.S. and around the world … may you all stay safe and help your family and neighbors endure whatever occurs.
As ever, Mary & D.L.

The old-fashioned Hollyhock came from Asia and Europe. When I was a child, 75 years ago, they were plentiful. I imagine that the pioneer women brought a few precious seeds with them to remind them of their countries of birth. They are extra hardy and love hot weather requiring little care: water them and they will thrive. In a little town by the Salton Sea, in California, I drove by a breathtaking display of hollyhocks in full bloom.

Hollyhocks Against the Fence

Hollyhocks Against the Fence

Stopping, I was thrilled to meet the person watering them. Her name was Lucy and we chatted after she told me to take all the pictures I desired. She handed me a cut stalk of brilliant red and said, ‘Would you like to see my paintings of the flowers?” In we went to her living room, where she had these two paintings.


“I only paint roses and hollyhocks. They are my favorites.” Lucy said. I said that the flowers she gave me were inspiring me to paint hollyhocks during this shelter-in-place isolation. She nodded and said that she still had to go to work regardless since she had to support herself.

As we parted Lucy invited me to come back anytime if I needed fresh hollyhocks for my watercolor painting.

So I painted those flowers and returned to give the painting to Lucy.

Lucy and My Painting

Lucy and My Painting

Here are the flowers, Lucy, and the painting.



Still trying to get it right! These colors are hard to match.