Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Zen and Tangle of a Bracken Fern

click to enlarge
I love ferns, especially in large groupings.  Their green coloring is so happy against dark and shaded tree trunks.

To my eye, the Bracken Fern has a complex structure.  Three triangular leaves branch from a stem, creating an overlap of the divided leaf structures.  Speaking as one who is dyslexic... viewing them up close can make me dizzy.

On Sunday, I came upon a fallen branch with a couple of Bracken Ferns growing near it. I was called to sketch it.
I hadn't planned on giving the fern so much detail, but once I started, I couldn't stop! Oh yes, much Zen was involved in sketching this fern.  I became the structure of the fern, the lobes, the smooth lines.... All the while my little voice was chipping at me, "What are you thinking by tackling this? What about the branch?"

This is one of the many reasons I love keeping an illustrated journal.  The pages can take on a ife of their own.  Once begun, I knew I had to get past my fear of the complex and just celebrate what was before me.  It took 30 minutes to sketch the fern structure.  It was then that I named the page.  I felt like I had created my first Zen Tangle.  Except my 'tangle' wasn't on the paper... it was in my head.


I love having the ability to look up information on the internet when in the field. This day, it enabled me to research the fern and and add interesting information to my page on the spot.