Heavy Heads

The peonies have been glorious this spring, in part due to all of the rain we have had. I realized that I had better capture the before they all faded!

My lettering go a bit muddled, but I managed to capture the impression of the multitude of leaves, at least. Maybe tomorrow I will try another view while they are still in full flower.

Mystery Flowers no more

I’ve not posted for quite a while. I’ve been very sad — my lovely chicken Ruby disappeared several weeks ago at dusk. Most likely a hawk or an owl, but I will never know. She was a wonderful creature, and a sweet companion.

I’ve been trying to focus on painting again, to capture the beauty (rather than the horrors) of nature. I’ve gone painting plein air twice recently, with my friend Martha, who I met at Hameau last year. It’s nice to have a friend to paint with.

We went to the Penn State Arboretum yesterday, and came across these incredible, delicate flowers. There was no tag, and we could not ID them. When I got home, I spent the evening trying to find these, and finally gave up. Luckily, Martha’s sister knew what they were! They are Dodecatheon meadia, commonly called ‘Shooting Stars.’

We were both taken with their inverted form, and the delicate ‘wings’ above.

I hope to paint them again under more controlled studio conditions.

The View out My Window

I spoke on ‘Keeping a Nature Sketchbook’ at the Pennsylvania Private Forest Landowners’ Conference last weekend. One of the themes I mentioned, and one of the easiest ones to pursue, is simply recording the view out of a window. I often sketch the trees or pasture I can see from my studio space; this particular scene focuses on the tree closest to the window, which sports some subtle mossy bits at key spots. I kept to my winter palette, which will soon be supplanted as spring arrives in full and the sepias and browns give way to prominent shads of green.

Odd Squash

We received this squash as part of a floral arrangement some house guests brought us. I was so taken with the shape of the squash that I have been keeping it for months now, meaning to paint it. I finally did. And it is, as I suspected, a rather challenging subject, and I am not sure I did it justice.But fun to try.

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Return to Hog Island

I went back to Hog Island Maine and had a wonderful week, learning about sound and video, geotagging and tracking, and bird banding. The instructors were amazing and my colleagues (including 24 incredible teenagers!) were great. I’ve added a new page under the ‘Travels’ tab on the menu (or just click here: http://www.flicker.farm/travels/hog-island-sketchbook-2016/), where you can see the sketchbook in its entirety, including larger images.

Here’s a tease, quick thumbnails I did in a total of thirty minutes (though I colored in the lettering afterwards as I ran out of time!) at the Damariscotta River Association. I do love painting fast — it’s very freeing.

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