Monday, March 14, 2011

Find Your Inspiration

New books always inspire me.  Most of the time it is a book for watercolor painting or even a well done children's book but recently I came across Botany for the Artist and just had to have this book, a hard copy, not a kindle copy.  I wanted to pour over this book looking at each picture and page and studying the illustrations.

When the book came I immediately recognized the quality of this book with it glossy paper, full of rich photos. The book is full of beautiful artistic photographs and plants and pencil drawings of the plants plus tips to draw them correctly.  I don't think you have to love plants like I do to love this book.

I packed up my new book, enough mechanical pencils to share with my grandchildren, a large sketchbook and an eraser and set off to visit the family.

Armed with a large bucket and scissors Regan led Justin and me through the "forest" in the back of their property and we set out on an expedition for plants to examine and draw.  We took a few stops like in the area Reagan called "the living room" and sat for a minute on an huge exposed root under an oak tree and stopped off in "the kitchen" and ordered a snack from her.  Then we moved on around the yard starting on the east side and ending in the front yard on the south stopping to look at a blooming pear tree or a mystery shrub along the fence line that had interesting looking sort of rectangular flat berries.  Each time we took a little cutting and put it in our bucket.

We took our find inside and showed our findings to the rest of the family and questioned the men about the red berry shrub, of course, heeding the warnings about poisonous berry (why are the red ones always poisonous?)

Then we sat down to do our drawing exploration.  Regan drew the red berry shrub, a sprig of catnip, a purple flower, a loquat leaf and some assorted other things and with the help of my genius spelling skills labeled each drawing.

Since I am old comparatively to Reagan as you might know I took much longer to draw my little pieces.  I drew one catnip leaf while she drew all of hers.

Justin on the other hand being the boy wonder that he is dug around a minute or two searching for the proper tools he could use and came back armed with an assortment of tools including crayons and in a flash had made an impression of the heavily veined leaf by placing it under the paper and coloring across the top of it.

Kristen who had been doing other things while we took our expedition joined us in the room and drew a picture of herself obviously unhappy with a huge frown on her face, Colby the cat and a caged pet mouse I have forgotten the name. She explained that she was unhappy because she was fussing at Colby the cat because Colby was trying to get the pet mouse.  Classic!

My regret is that I did not get a scan of their drawings so I could show their work.

I continued to work on my skills.
Caleb gave me a chunk of bark to draw and lichen.
The object of this exercise was not so much about getting the contours correct but to get the varied values to show the texture of an object. 

My challenge today is to find your inspiration and take action on it.  Time lost in idleness is lost forever but time spent creatively is something that stays in your head forever.


  1. I LOVE the drawings! You are such a good grandmother. They will never forget the things you do with them - like yesterday and the drawing lesson.

  2. Thank you, Linda. Today Lee asked me if I connected with the grandkids yesterday. I guess he was not aware of what we were doing in the kitchen. He got outside and played horse shoes with the men. We all connect a little differently.

  3. Sorry, for re-publishing but I just read that I had "bothany" instead of "botany" and could not let it rest. I can not stand finding my typos AFTER I publish my posts. I have several girls in my class named Bethany and it was too familiar to me not to just type Bothany. I do that with my son, Carl's name. I often type Carla! Too funny but it sure makes you feel what did I type wrong now?