Thursday, December 30, 2010

Four Colly Birds

December 29 
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me—

Four Colly Birds 
watercolor and ink illustration on Arches 140# cp paper
8x8 inches

© V. Bridges Hoyt 2010

Painting will be offered for sale when this series is complete on January 6. The pink tint on the background is an illusion caused by the warm interior light source used to photograph the painting. 

Over the years, the original English term "Colly" Birds was Americanized and came to be known as "Calling" Birds. I have taken the original term Colly Birds literally and illustrated them as the Black Birds they were. 

Colly is a dialect word meaning black and refers to the European blackbird Turdus merula. 

Religiously, The 'four calling birds' are the Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; or their Gospels. 


  1. Love your blog, Vernita. I rarely visit it without learning something new. Awesome painting.

  2. This is my favorite of the series so far, but I have to admit, black birds are a special favorite of mine in art! Also, really interesting about the "collie" birds - never heard that before, and the Gospel equivalent's.

  3. Della ... Beckie ... Thanks so much for stopping by with your comments. I appreciate you, and I'm glad you like this painting. It seemed an easy one to paint. Those that flow like that tend to be the best paintings. I am learning new facts about the 12 Days of Christmas also. My progress on this series will slow down in January as I fulfill some other commitments, but I shall be back to the series asap.


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