The Wildly Inspiring Book "Birds in Watercolor, Collage, and Ink" by Geninne Zlatkis

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The last few months for me have been about exploring craft in all of its various forms. For years I only sewed garments, then I spent several years making quilts, and now I feel like I’m standing in a forest where half a dozen trails intersect wondering which way to go. There’s a feeling of excitement mixed with fear and uncertainty - the same feeling one might get wandering the woods without a map.

In this moment as a creative “seeker” I’ve been watching a lot of Bluprint and Skillshare classes and acquiring and reading a lot of books. I’m a sponge for knowledge. When I dive in, I dive in deep. (I was not surprised to learn that my StrengthsFinder 2.0 result is “Input".)

60% of the books I’ve acquired are useless, 30% are somewhat useful, and 10% are “I can’t put this down and I might read it 1,000 times”. Geninne Zlatkis’s book “Birds in Watercolor, Collage and Ink” is in that 10%.

Geninne is an artist and illustrator living in Santa Fe, and I’ve been a raving fan of hers since she debuted a fabric collection with Cloud9 Fabrics back in the early days of CityCraft. I still wear the Tova Top that I made from the Walkabout print.

The book is a step-by-step look into Geninne’s artistic process of painting and collaging birds from her stunning, custom-built studio in the New Mexico desert. The book is personal, beautiful, and has consumed my thoughts ever since it arrived two days ago. (I’ve read it cover to cover twice.)

It is no small feat to publish a book that is a strong educational reference and visually stunning, but Geninne has pulled this off in a highly approachable manner. It is the work of a master.

CityCraft by Callie Works-Leary

Lately, I’ve been watching the birds outside my kitchen. There is a cardinal couple trying to visit a yaupon holly tree completely covered in bright red berries, but an aggressive mockingbird is hell-bent on keeping every other bird away.

Below is the start of a scene that I was inspired to paint after reading Geninne’s book. It is what I would like to imagine happening if the mockingbird would just give it a rest.

CityCraft by Callie Works-Leary
CityCraft by Callie Works-Leary

Geninne’s book is available here.

Have you seen it yet? Let me know if you try anything from the book or are inspired to make something after reading. I’d love to see how it inspires you.