To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here. I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.
My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!
Friday, August 19, 2011
Madrone trees and shiny beetles
Have you ever visited a nearby spot and discovered something major you've never even heard of? For instance, the first time I traveled through the South I was amazed to see the miles-wide blankets of kudzu draped over the trees like green quilts. I'd never even HEARD of kudzu before.
A similar thing happened to me when I moved to southern Oregon. I'd previously lived in various parts of Oregon: Hood River (on the northern edge by the Columbia River), Corvallis (west-central Oregon) and Eugene a bare 120 miles north of my place) and I'd neither seen nor heard of the magnificent red-barked madrone trees with their green skin which tans just like human skin during the hot days of summer.
Since my house is nestled deep in a madrone forest, madrones are now a major part of my scenery, and I thought I'd share their fascinating beauty with you, writing from my sit spot underneath and beside their glamorous trunks and branches (to say nothing of the midsummer leaf fall now descending in glorious golden cascades).
There's an actual piece of bark glued to this journal page because their color is so obviously impossible I thought I'd better prove it. But as you can see, I didn't even go as far as reality in my painting. The bark comes in many shades, though, so the color I chose is accurate for many of the trees.
What about the green? It's true! The skin is really that green on many of them at this time of year, while others have a more subdued tone, and all of them tan with age until they're the deep orange or red of the peeling parts ~ the red bark is LAST year's green skin.
And then, of course, I discovered some little black beetles so shiny that when I looked at them through my magnifying glass I could see my reflection looking back at me from their polished black backs!
I hope you like this journal page. There are lots more to come, including a journal page about my invention of a mosquito net contraption that's easy to make and could allow you to sit on your lawn or deck in the worst of mosquito times ~ without slathering on stinky insect repellent.