Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yard Pix, Sketches, Nature Journal, Pastel Journey

I had a really busy day yesterday, but mostly devoted to one kind of art or another. In the late morning I went out to the north yard and sat on the bridge to try to capture the Adirondack chairs sitting under the trees. I am still having a really hard time with these chairs and think I'd better do more practice with them. At any rate, despite the fact that the wind was just about blowing be away and the wind chill was putting a serious cold in my hands, this is what I accomplished.

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By the time I got indoors, I needed some serious warming up, so I reheated some turkey vegetable soup I'd made the day before. Yummy!!

I still love my Debbie Mumm dishes.

It was a beautiful day despite the wind, so once I'd warmed up, I put a hoodie back on and headed out with the camera. I've been impatiently awaiting the arrival of the lady slippers, but realize that it really isn't time for them yet. I do have their greenery already.

And while I was walking around the horseradish that the hubster planted smiled and waved just begging to have its picture taken, so I obliged.

And then I couldn't ignore the shade garden full of lilies of the valley, Jacob's ladder, and hostas. And they are lucky enough to have a natural frame of a weathered fence and a pile of bricks.

All this communing with nature, reminded me that I wanted to start a journal with a nature theme and try my hand at some botanical sketching - nothing formal, but I am drawn to things that don't move when you try to sketch them. I had a lovely book written in German with a leaf image on the front that seemed to be a good candidate. I wanted to know its title to see if it would fit with the theme, but every translation software that I tried just gave me back what I entered. Does anyone know what this says?

The title doesn't appear on the front cover and I love the leaf pattern.

Here is the first page of the "Nature Journal". I think it is a spent dandelion, but it wasn't identified by a name just a number. I found it on Wet Canvas.

And, finally, I tried my hand at another pastel in my Merrill Reader, but this time I used Portfolio oil pastels. I am quite pleased with this one and will try my hand at the Mungyo soft pastels on the next one with the hope of doing a better job than on the flowers that were my first entry in this book. I need to get some fixative so I can turn the page and not have these two get two familiar with each other. I think I will just buy some hair spray as Phil suggested.

I do love pears.

Another busy day today. I am on my way to my daughter's house to get Miss P to school and then I have my exercise class. I am hoping to spend some time with art after that, and then I am going to go to the Zumba class again - two left feet notwithstanding.

I hope you have a great day and that I will see you again tomorrow.



  1. Those chairs are a challenge, that's for sure. They have such an odd bunch of angles to them that they're very hard to draw. The chair on the left works the best, I think. Keep going with them, and sooner or later they'll just finally decide to behave! The soup looks really tasty in its cute bowl, and you photos as always, are spectacular. The pears are lovely and I really like the dark blue shadow! See you soon!! hugs, nancy

  2. I believe that's Dutch rather than German. Perhaps you'd have better luck that way.

    Have you been drawing the negative spaces of the chairs? that often helps significantly in rendering. Good for you for trying them, especially in a freezing wind!

  3. I believe a really rough translation is "WE alive by the words of buddhism???" but I could be WAYYYY Off!
    Wij ... we
    Mogen ... allowed or to live
    van usually means from ... as in from Holland, or from Munich.
    I am not sure what Geluck is ... google search takes me to Gelug which has some connection with the Dalai Lama and buddhism.
    spreken ... past tense of speak

    We lived in the Netherlands for a summer. The kids learned Dutch! I struggled to get my German understood. Your book is Dutch, not German, I am quite sure. Or it is a very old form of German, not the one I studied in school!

  4. HI Vicki - great post. That looks like Dutch (Netherlands) rather than German - so I put it through a couple of translation sites and the closest I can get is 'We can speak of luck'. Hope that helps!

  5. Hi Vicki, it is not German but a Dutch book. The title is something like: We may speak of happiness, or: We are lucky. It's about the contemplative edifying words Reverend Okke Jager spoke at the end of the night in the first years of television in the fifties. The first chapter is titled: Seeing with your heart.
    Love your sketches!

  6. I had a look at the translation you need. When I entered televisie, it detected the language as Dutch televisie dagsluitingen means television day closures, door = by
    wij mogen geluk spreken = we may of happiness speak

    The title makes sense, but I don't know about the television day closures!

  7. these look great may want to soften the background so that it doesn't distract from the main focus....well done

  8. I like the chairs and oh, your soup looks good, too-making me hungry!

  9. What a wonderful day you had yesterday, despite the wind and cold! Your soup looks delicious and the perfect thing to ward off the cold and rain we're having today. I love your oil pastel painting. The colors look so lush!

  10. Left feet or not it's nice to just get out and do something. I like the dish too.

  11. Loved the pictures you drew and your photos. I think I will tell my husband about growing some horseradish. I don't know why I never thought about him growing any in the garden. If he is successful. I will probably have to give you a holler about how to put it up. I love that taste. That soup looks delicious!