Thursday, December 10, 2015

Nature Sketching On A Golden Afternoon

I spent a warm, golden afternoon sketching tree fungus and watching a whole family of American anoles frolicking along the length of a fallen beech tree. One particularly bold one who was missing part of its tail I christened "Stumpy".  Very imaginative, I know.  It was such a perfect day,  I captured the moment with a selfie - something I rarely do.  But, I kind of like this one.  It really captures the feeling of the moment - warm, peaceful, and happy.  I discovered so much more than is evident in my sketch.  There is a whole micro ecosystem living on and around that fallen tree.  There is such a story to tell there, and I think I will spend a bit more time trying to capture it.

I am trying hard not to be too critical of my drawing, but I really wish I could learn how to draw the fungus at the right angles - foreshortening in essence.  See how the brackets I've drawn look as if they are perpendicular to the ground? Well, they don't grow that way.  They grow parallel to the ground, but I haven't worked out how to achieve that yet.  I watched a fantastic YouTube video by John Muir Laws on drawing wildflowers in which he addresses the issue of foreshortening, but it just hasn't clicked with me yet.  I will keep trying.

But, the good news is, I have discovered that nature journaling is about a whole lot more than drawing.  It's an active form of meditation, sitting quietly and focusing intently on capturing some small element of the wonders unfolding before my eyes.  I felt so calm, happy, and refreshed and also as if I had been allowed to peek into a secret world.  Even if my drawing doesn't receive any benefit from the practice, my spirit definitely does, and so I am inspired to continue.


magnoliasntea said...

Wow, Starr, you do have some talent there, and I'm sure the angles of all the objects you sketch will come together just right in time. I really enjoyed seeing your sketch and the life around the log in your woods.

Jules Woolford said...

I like the perspective you've taken Starr, it gives an interesting view! Foreshortening is an odd thing, but you will get it. I'm so glad you are enjoying your journaling. Love the photos too.x

Michelle said...

You are very talented and I really like the shades of brown in these photographs.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

You are soooooooooooooo very talented Starr! So excited for you on this new adventure!

Raewyn said...

Beautiful! There's something so special about being with nature.

Wynette Vass said...

Well I'm lucky to be able to draw a straight line without a ruler some days! Beautiful work and you did find the perfect spot to meditate and take in your surroundings!

handmade by amalia said...

What a wonderful post, Starr, and a wonderful drawing to go with it. I like secret worlds.

Tammie Lee said...

lovely to see your drawing of conks
this autumn i was beginning to learn more about them
so many are good for nutrition and healing
i love finding them in the woods

patientgardener said...

I think if you use more shading around the fungus it would help show that they are seperate to the log rather than a pattern on it. You could also show a bit of the side of the fungus to try and create a more 3D image. The problem is that you know they are growing out of the log but the viewpoint you have taken makes it hard to see that