I didn't get eaten by a bear although I thought I might at one point ~ read my journal entry here! (you should be able to read the pages if you click on the image).
It's been a fantastic summer, but as one of my blog readers pointed out, I haven't blogged since the end of August (!). Sometime around then I figured out how to create a slideshow and I got sidetracked. Now I've put my Sit Spot Sketch/Journal entries on my webpage as a series of slide shows (although I'm not quite up to date).
They're in two-week clumps, with links to additional slide shows in the series just below each slide show. If you haven't seen them yet, I'd love some feedback!
But in the process, I got way behind on blogging. My apologies!
This has been a momentous summer for me. I have lived in this woods for thirty-one years but this year, for the first time, I have begun to get really acquainted with it. Every day from July 22 until just this week, I have gone out for an hour or more nearly every day and observed, journaled and sketched what I discovered around me.
Now the weather has turned cold and I'm in the process of fetching in wood from the forest for my woodpile before the rains set in, so I'm in a time crunch and my sketch journal has to take a back seat until I get my winter preparations taken care of.
All summer, sometimes I found things to draw, sometimes things to draw found me.
Upon completing a page (sometimes I added color on the spot, other times I worked on pages in the evenings) I would bring my sketch/journal pages into my studio, scan them into the computer, and tweak them to make them legible. The text I tweaked quite a bit, correcting ballpoint ink blobs, misspelled words, and wobbly letters, but the pictures I left as I drew them. Improving the art would be cheating, in my opinion, but you have to be able to READ the things, so tweaking the text is okay.
As I got the pages finished, I joined them together into the slide shows. So come see what I have been doing ~ and consider trying this yourself. If you live in the southern half of the U.S. your weather should make it possible to do it year-round.
For the rest of us poor souls, up here in Winterland, well, maybe y'all can go out before it gets too much colder and collect cool things to draw in the warmth of your living room or art studio over the winter: pinecones, leaves, beetle-chewed sticks or bark, oak galls, feathers, seedpods, shed insect or snake skins, etc. (the oak branch drawings here came out of my woodpile!). I've collected a few such specimens for myself to draw later, and I can also sketch the scene out my windows, as well. And hey, a few minutes drawing out in the cold air won't kill me this winter.
It's okay to draw from photos, too, so maybe a quick tour around your yard, local park, nearby woods or fields, etc., can give you some good subjects for your winter sketching. If the idea is to explore your local vicinity, your own photos would probably be your best source of subjects.
And if you are thinking your skills aren't up to such a project, you can very likely get yourself up to speed using my little workshop workbooks, designed to take you from your own personal skill level to wherever you want to go. To find a workbook that would suit you, click on a cover below to visit the workbooks's page.
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!