Alejandro García Lemos

In April 22, 2020 I created this basic map of the bird nests in our house. The idea of Social Distancing was better exemplified to me by nature. The birds that always have been our companions in this house for the past 12 years were showing us exactly how to practice Social Distancing.

Map of the nests and birds at home

Basic layout of the Friday Cottage (Our Home) planting and mapping of bird’s nests as of April 22, 2020, during Covid -19 and Social Distancing.

Britt and I have been living in this house, the Friday Cottage, for 12 years, which means that we were already able to survive a major financial crisis, the Great Recession I think they called it. During the years 2007 and 2008 a major downturn in the economy resulted in the loss of many properties country wide. We thought that we could lose ours, like many other people’s homes, our house was considered “Under Water” an financial expression coined during the recession period to describe the properties whose real estate values were inferior to the market price. Thus, in 2008 I created this piece “Home Under Water”

Alejandro García Lemos
Home Under Water
From the former crisis
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2008

Under these unexpected circumstances, isolated on our homes, our house became our main source of distraction and refuge and joy, as well as the best way to entertain us during this very long Spring. So it was unavoidable that I started enjoying nature–and birds in particular. They have not left us, on the contrary, the birds have been bringing us joy and satisfaction every day. So, even though I have been working on a painting of our house again, at the same time I have been rejoicing with the birds and decided to honor them as my company during this Social Distancing time.

So, here are a series of photos of a new painting of our house still in process, which I expect to finish sometime over the next two weeks. Our house and its nature, that what has kept us sane…


Journaling about the birds everyday…

More importantly, here is a sample of the birds that have been our company. The first one is a beautiful Towhee, they jump all the time.

Bird Taxonomy of Our Garden

“Towhee”
Pilipo erythrophthalmus
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC

“Northern Cardinal” (female)
Cardinalis cardinalis
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“Gray Catbird”
Dumetella Carolinensis
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“Chickadee (Black-Capped)”
Poecile atricapilllus
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“Carolina Wren”
Thryothorus ludovicianus
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“Brown Thrasher”
Toxostoma rufum
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“House Sparrow”
Passer domesticus
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“Mourning Dove”
Zenaida macroura
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“Blue Jay”
Cyanocitta crostata
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“American Robin”
Turdus migratorius
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“Northern Cardinal” (Male)
Cardinals cardinals
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020
“Northern Mocking Bird”
Mimus poliglottos
Alejandro García Lemos
Columbia, SC
2020


Here they are in a ZOOM Meeting during Covid- 19

All drawings made on watercolor and inks on Aquarelle Arches watercolor cold-press French paper 100% cotton.


The Artista Portrait, LOL
by Britt Hunt

I couldn’t help it, but I have to include this beautiful poem from the famous French poet Claude Aveline, since it seems very connected to this moment in my creative process, I apologize since it is in French, I will try to find a good translation and post it.

Claude Aveline
Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas

Voici le por­trait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas.
Ce n’est pas sa faute si le Bon Dieu 
qui a tout fait a oublié de le faire.

Il res­sem­ble à beau­coup d’oiseaux, 
parce que les bêtes qui n’exis­tent pas 
res­sem­blent à celles qui exis­tent.
Mais celles qui n’exis­tent pas 
n’ont pas de nom.

Et voilà pour­quoi cet oiseau s’appelle 
l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas.
Et pour­quoi il est si triste.
Il dort peut-être, ou il attend qu’on 
lui per­mette d’exis­ter.
Il vou­drait savoir s’il peut ouvrir le bec, 
s’il a des ailes, s’il est capa­ble de plon­ger 
dans l’eau sans perdre ses cou­leurs, 
comme un vrai oiseau.

Il vou­drait s’enten­dre chan­ter.
Il vou­drait avoir peur de mourir un jour.
Il vou­drait faire des petits oiseaux 
très laids, très vivants.
Le rêve d’un oiseau-qui-n’existe-pas, 
c’est de ne plus être un rêve.
Personne n’est jamais content.
Et com­ment voulez-vous que le monde 
puisse aller bien dans ces condi­tions ?


Paris, 1950.

17 thoughts on “Alejandro García Lemos

  1. I hope y’all like our garden birds, they have provided us with the most beautiful and comforting company during the isolation period, not to mention the daily chirping and tweeting.

    Alejandro

  2. I’m jealous! You’re seeing birds we don’t get at our house. How can that be? We’re 2blocks apart!

    1. I am sure you probably have the same birds, maybe you just need to look a little bit more in detail. Actually, I did not include a few, like the Mississippi Kite and the Wood Pecker… Thanks for your comment! I have been having a great time drawing our birds. They are so many.

  3. And now, I want a collage of your birds to hang next to L’oiseau Qui N’existe Pas.
    You do great work my friend.
    Danielle

  4. Your work and art just thrill and amaze me. I have enjoyed so much of it while you were here and am so impressed by what you are doing now. Thanks so much.
    David

  5. I love the bird journal and how you all painted them so beautifull! I wonder how they sound in their zoom meetings

    1. Hey Tineke!

      Thanks for comments! I feel that when they are in a ZOOM meeting they all sing at the same time! What kind of birds do y’all have around the house?

      Tot ziens !

      Alejandro

  6. Absolutely fantastic! I am also surrounded by hundreds of birds. A lot of them are alike, bluejay, robin, woodpecker and common sparrow. I see a lot of finches, warblers, thrushes, titmice and starlets. Further more, there is a red kite nest in one of the trees. I oalso have some rather noisy fellows around that I try to hush up occasionally: a screech owl and a nightingale. When they sing together, the Nile geese on the other side of the river start screaming too and wake up the storks. Unbelievable!

    1. Wow! I am glad you like the project. I feel like you already have a taxonomy of your garden in your mind. In fact, I don’t know some of the birds you mentioned.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Danke schön!

      Alejandro

  7. I am amazed how in the middle of everything that is happening right now, this story and pictures transported me to a happy place where I don’t want to leave.
    I felt safe and felt like a little kid. THANK YOU.

  8. Would it be possible to add the sound of their singing to each drawing ? Am I asking to much of an already magnifico work?

    1. Elielson,

      I am so glad you like the birds. I think there is a way to link the sound of their singing, but I will have to figure out how to create the link, it´s a web design thing more than anything, but I do LOVE the idea. I will let you know if I get to do it.

      Thanks for checking!

      Alejandro

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