Hummingbird nest

Watercolor painting of a hummingbird's nest

Last month, I imagined a nest of connections. This month, I decided to paint a nest. After all, eggs are fragile things and need to be protected. I found this webpage, with a photo of a rufeous hummingbird nest. (Here is a video of a hummingbird building a nest.) Because of their small size, hummingbirds seem like good ambassadors of weakness (even though they are strong and fast.)

This painting was definitely a challenge in weakness. I’ve been having a hard time being able to paint. The physical position I need to take in order to paint (with my wheelchair seat parallel to the floor) has been getting increasingly uncomfortable. That makes wielding the brush difficult.

I started this painting happily enough, but could only work on it in short bursts which left me tired and disheartened. There were times I thought to myself “I can’t paint anymore.” That’s a thought that generates huge waves of grief.

Using the smaller, more lightweight, brush was easiest and I did manage to finish, but I’m not sure where I go from here. My explorations this month encourage me to treat myself kindly, whatever happens.


Posted on

June 1, 2020


  1. Lee

    Dear Kate,
    This is one of my favorite paintings of yours that I’ve seen. It is truly a gift.
    I’m sorry to hear how tiring and uncomfortable the process of painting is becoming physically. However you choose to proceed with your creative experiments, even if they take place simply in the realm of imagination and we never see or hear about them, I’m glad you are remembering treating yourself kindly in the midst of it all.

    • Kate

      Thank you, Lee. We’ll see how things evolve.


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