5 second sketches…

bird common merganser fem

If one is into recording observations from nature mostly as drawings vs. words, is there a difference between art and journaling? The sketches that fill my countless nature journals tend to take between 5 and 45 seconds, most closer to 5 like this one. I heard a song lyric yesterday that said something like, “You always build it better the second time…” So I wonder if the value of a sketch increases if you take the time to draw it again. For example, I realize now that maybe the water line around this common merganser female should not curl around behind her but go straight out behind her to better indicate her forward movement. And should she have an eyeball? And should I get out my color pencils or watercolors to share her dark red head and foggy gray body with you? And will I ever get over thinking that sketches that take a half hour or more are much better than my usual quickies? Does it matter?… aka. who cares?

Great Blue Herons in the cold!

bird GBH journal

We couldn’t have kayaked up Pomonkey Creek during the Christmas bird count. It was frozen solid. But our local Great Blue Herons didn’t want to miss the count. They were huddled together in the marsh, hiding from the frigid North wind. How many can you count?

You never know when someone might be watching you!

Drawing- renter at hollow log

John recently pulled a great big hollow log up from the river. It has attracted quite a bit of attention. Ground hugs run through it regularly. A person might be able to wriggle through if we can figure out how to knock some of the insides out… Friend took photos from both ends! Wonder what her photographs look like. I’m going to have to take some of my own!

License plate altered to protect the car owner’s privacy…

Journal angry bird car

A Crayola Moment for all you frustrated artists! Yesterday I found myself driving behind my favorite color car-  bright yellow, driven by a girl with bright yellow hair. Sky was bright blue with puffy white clouds. Take it from there! Would love to see your finished product!

Remains in the Romaine!

Herring in romaine

Our local male osprey, Diver, brought a lovely herring to Robyn’s garden and dropped it perfectly in line with her newly planted row of romaine lettuce! The traditional native American fertilizer!  We’re pretty sure it was Diver because garden is near his new nest and he has been busy catching herring for days. It was such a lovely fish it must have attracted the attention of a local eagle. There was undoubtedly a dramatic war between the osprey and the eagle in the air over Robyn’s garden. Wish we had seen it happen. If the fish had dropped into the Potomac River, the eagle would have swooped down and stolen it before it slipped below the waves.  But neither bird wanted to attempt to retrieve the fish from inside Robyn’s  fabulous plastic net fencing designed to deter deer, groundhugs, rabbits and turtles.  We have added osprey and eagles to that list. Please use sketch for another CrayolaMoment!

herring 2

Robyn just sent me an actual photo of the herring nuzzled up against a romaine seedling, precisely in line with the just-planted row.  My drawing was from memory.  The fish was the most important part of my drawing so it did (unintentionally) become bigger than life… A drawing allows you to show a whole lot more than a photograph!

Dr. Seuss knew how to draw clouds!

clouds Dr. seuss

There are afternoons when each cloud looks like it floated right out of a beloved Dr. Seuss book. Yesterday afternoon’s sky was filled with Dr. Seuss’ crazy characters. Which book did this creature come from? Think of it as another Crayola Moment for you, too!