For Love of Birds

Sheri loved birds. There was something about the little winged creatures – whether it was their ability to fly, their nests, or just the happy little songs they sang every morning, she couldn’t say. But she loved them, and everything about them.

Her drawings, however, left much to be desired.

When one draws a bird, they usually aim for a realism that, while not quite perfect, was at least recognizable. Sheri, however, often drew abstract-expressionist birds – strange fluffy creatures with odd angles, deformed wings, and gracefully grotesque faces. They would win no beauty awards, either her drawings or their real-life equivalents, should those exist.

Still, Sheri drew. Every day, she would take her sketchbook to the park and wait for a bird to land. When it did, she would try to memorize the look while it hopped about. Then she would draw, draw, draw, sketching quickly and inexpertly. The bird would take off long before she was finished, but she would work from her memory. Sometimes she drew it as it was on the ground, sometimes in the air. But always, it was strange.

After her death, Sheri’s drawings were put up for auction. They were purchased by a museum, and soon after she shot to fame. Critics discussed her brilliance, her capturing of the bird as it was, not as it is. Her work was put on display everywhere, and conservation organizations had a huge influx of cash.

Sheri’s love of birds lasted long after she did, her drawings a testament to her passion.


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