Nature Journal

This morning, I discovered a hidden treasure at the bottom of a pile of sketchbooks– my nature journal.  I began it in 2005 & stopped sketching in it late 2010.  The pictures have inspired me to spend time in my yard, rediscovering the beauty right here at home.

The color of each blossom moved me to layer colored pencils to get the right effect.

Daffodils arrived earlier than expected this year.

I adore the rich red-orange of this exotic bloom.

Often, I pick up interesting objects when I walk the dogs.  Eventually, they make their way into my sketchbook.

I collect feathers of all kinds. Wispy & ethereal, they symbolize air & freedom to me.

I can never draw enough leaves. Each is so unique. Dried autumn leaves inspire me most.

Both the shape of the pinecone & the areas of light & dark make them a challenge to draw.

Mourning doves are probably my favorite birds.  I love their coo as they call to one another from rooftops or telephone lines.  This one built a nest in my front yard which afforded me the time to draw her & blend my colored pencils to replicate the gray-lavender of her feathers.  As her black eyes peered into mine, I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking.

Mourning dove protecting her nest of eggs.

Sometimes, things grow so slowly that the change is hardly noticeable.  Here are drawings of my maple tree 5 years apart.  While it has been home to many birds who find safety in the birdhouses I place there year after year, I hope the tree is strong enough to embrace a nest this year.

My maple tree in 2005.

Here she is in 2010.

This reaffirms my passion for all things natural but specifically for the local beauty of the area where I live.

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What’s An Art Journal For?

My art journal is a visual diary, quite different from the many sketchbooks of various shapes & sizes I have scattered about my house.  While the sketchbooks contain doodles, ideas for future compositions, color experiments, & sketches, my art journal helps me delve deeper into my soul, interpret my dreams, & chronicle my life.  It’s far more intimate than a sketchbook.

Lately, I’ve been doing some soul searching but have found it difficult to put my feelings into words.  Finally, I realized that I’m most in touch with my Self when I create visually.  I cut out pictures from magazines & used bits of paper & found objects that spoke to me (including a few fallen feathers from Bella, my parakeet).  I just let my heart talk & shut off the mind chatter.  What you see below is the result.  Not sure if there is an answer in this collage but you can surely see that I’m questioning.

Searching: An Art Journal Entry

Detail from Searching

Searching: Every figure in this is a part of my Self

Searching: possibly searching within... not sure yet

 

So Much Art, So Little Time

I’ve had my share of periods notoriously known as “Artist’s Block”, very similar to what writers experience when the desire is there but the ideas are not.  It happens to all creative people sooner or later.  I’m not exactly sure what cleared my block but I do know that meditating, walking in nature, going on field trips to fun places, & surrounding myself with positive people contributed to the shift inside of me.

I now have the opposite problem, a wonderful, energy-charged problem– too many ideas & too little time.  Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not complaining.  Far from it!  I’m humble & grateful for this flow of inspiration that has sprinkled my studio with canvases, blocks of wood, & art journals in various stages of completion.  What’s an artist to do?!  You might say, “Finish them, Silly!”   And I will.  But right now, I feel like a child with too many toys on Christmas morning.  What do I play with first?

See my dilemma?

I'm loving this art journal spread!

Love the background but have no idea what it will be.