Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Sketchbook Project Update IV - Trees

Please click all images to enlarge.
It's time to celebrate trees :)

Walk with us to the 10th hole. It's
423 yards from the back tee to the green. The cart path runs along the edge of the woods.

Now that it's winter and much of the greenery has died back, I can see standing water not too far into the woods. This, along with the variety of trees found in a mere 423 yard stretch of land is a clear sign that this section of the neighborhood can be classified as a Bottomland Hardwood forest.

This type of forest usually borders a swamp and may be temporarily flooded should we get a whopper of a hurricane and the river reaches flood stage (not a warm and fuzzy thought!)

Here are all the trees I've identified so far. The illustrations are of two 'new-to-me' trees. I feel like such an explorer when I find a new flower, shrub, vine or tree. I don't care that Carl Linnaeus, or another botanist, may have named named it long ago - it's my discovery :) That's what I sooooo love about nature journaling! Even better is now that I've drawn it, it's mine.... forever in my heart :)

I never would have guessed Witchhazel comes from a tree! I always imagined witchhazel to be an herbaceous plant. A student of nature, that's what I am :)

These trees live on or near the 10th hole.

So many trees, not enough pages :) There are only two more spreads left in the sketchbook and I have other goodies to share. So, to all the trees that didn't make it into this book..... Patience, I'm working on it :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Sketchbook Project - Update III - Ibis and Crows

Click image to enlarge
I love the crows in this spread :)

I had no idea that crows would hang with Ibis.  I see this all the time - in trees, feeding on the fairway..... never fighting over territory.

Certainly can bring a smile!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sketchbook Project Update #3.... Marsh & Birds

Click all images to enlarge

One of my favorite places to walk  with the dogs are golf holes 17 and 18. This page celebrates #17 - which has, by far, the most bird activity. Big birds! And, wonderful views of the marsh.

There's quite a lot to read here and it's not one of my favorite spreads.... but, the info is pertinent to the theme of the book.
I love this spread. Wood Storks are one of my favorite wading birds. Some may think they are homely with their bald, wrinkly black heads, but they have such charm to me. I love watching them wade through shallow water, their beaks open and in the water, doing a stomp-their-feet-dance to stir up the the water and mud to catch their food.

I laughed when I finished sketching the two closest birds.  I must have been holding the book at an angle as they are listing to the left! Oh well, this kind of thing can happen when you're in a hurry and sketching with pen :)

As written, the Storks are not always around in these numbers. I've learned to carry my camera every time I take the dogs out. I know that these special treats wont' wait for me to get the dogs home and rush back to photograph.

The dogs have become quite patient while I photograph. However, the tri-color (Grizz) insists on a treat for being such a good girl.....  as in she won't move! I am such a well trained human!

Stay tuned to learn more about Crows and Ibis hanging out together!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sketchbook Project Update #2

Click to enlarge
This is the copy that runs around the outside of this spread...

We have lived in this neighborhood since May 2010. It borders a tidal creek and there is a golf course. It's such a treat to walk the cart path on holes 17 & 18 as the marsh borders these holes. Every day brings something wonderful to see and experience.

Please walk with us. I want to show you my favorite sights. I want to show you the things that fill me with wonder - it's like being a child all over again for me.

Nature. There is nothing like it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sketchbook Project Update #1

I finished making the cover back in December.  I was about to bind the sketchbook, got delayed, and am so grateful for the delay as I realized the book pages would be much easier to scan.

I decided sewing a few pages together would make them sturdier.  There are two benefits to this. Thicker pages and...... less pages to fill :) Good thing too, as there was under 2 weeks to get it finished and postmarked by January 15th!  Nothing like a deadline :)

I love the design the zig-zag stitches made on the edges of the pages.

Outside of the cover and end pages, I now had 12 spreads to fill.

Another reason I'm happy I sewed the pages is that the back half of the book has perforated sheets!  It made for a bit of a challenge when sewing, as the pages started to tear out. I ended up using clear archival tape to secure the pages in the book. Okay.... ready to start filling this baby!

The theme is 'Down Your Street' - which I decided meant my street. I thought it would be fun to share the sights I see on my daily dog walks. Here's the start....

The thin paper has a slick finish that, to me, is difficult to use watercolor on. I do love how my Micron pen glides across the surface, though.

Given that I've waited until the last minute to complete this project, I made the executive decision to live dangerously free and sketch with the Micron pen. No time for careful planning.... just have at it!

That decision helped me choose the type of calligraphic marks to use for titles, etc..  By the by, I didn't plan for my maiden name to have such a downward twist - that's compliments of writing with pen and running out of room :)  See what fun you can have when your marks are committed? I don't know if I could have thought of making my name so fun if I tried to design it this way. Serendipity!  Love that word!

I was 3 spreads from finished on the 13th and knew an all-nighter would be in order. On the 14th, Art House Coop sent an email out changing the deadline to January 18th. Trust me, I was dancing around the studio after I read that email :) It seems bad weather everywhere was interfering with participants getting to the post office/delivery services and those companies getting packages delivered!

About 2 hours after reading the email, I could feel my body start to crash. I had been in such a Wonder Woman mode for so many days, running on sheer determination, I didn't realize just how tired I really was. After the holidays is was wake up, walk the dogs, work the day job, work on a current freelance job, walk the dogs, make dinner, paint and sketch at night - try to fit a load of laundry in, try and spend some quality time with Rob on his days off.... Clean? Take down Christmas decorations? Nope.  I went off to bed that night knowing I would be able to get the book totally finished and bound. Such a good feeling :)  

Yesterday, the 18th, book in hand, I made it to the post office by 3 pm and sent my child off to Brooklyn, NY. My finished pieces of art become my children. They certainly carry a chunk of my soul.  Anyone else feel this way about your creations?

Moral of this story.... don't wait to the last minute!  I know this mantra. Very well in fact! Do I pay attention? Sometimes. Then there are the times when I know I have a full plate but..... I really want to add just one more fun thing. During this whole episode my word for the new year dangles in my head..... S i m p l i f y.....  Yes, right after this one project....

The book is scanned. I need to clean up the scans a bit as the rippled paper makes for unwanted shadows :) Stayed tuned and I will show you my journey :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

A beautiful afternoon spent on Spring Island
soaking up the sights.

It was cloudy most of the day but when Rob and I settled on a place to park and paint, the sun broke through and warmed our backs. Boy the warmth of the sun sure felt good!

In the distance, fog was rolling in from Port Royal Sound on the Beaufort River.

Here is a still image. Note the large lump of fog on the right side of the image.  I managed to capture it's movement in the video.

Here is a shot of the pluff mud...... very busy feet!

I hope you enjoyed your day, too!

May you have a healthy, happy and blessed New Year!