Catching up also!
It has been an amazingly busy year and although I am thoroughly enjoying the sketchbook exchange I have been rather slow to follow up with the companion blog. It's time I made an effort to get up to date I think. Here is the first of several I plan to post in the coming days.
To say that being part of this exchange has opened up a whole new world to me would be an understatement. After many months of doing this I realize that I have become part of an international group of kind, funny and encouraging people dedicated to recording nature every month in different media- paint, pencil, ink or what ever takes our fancy and though we may be at different levels of experience and skill we are all equally passionate about what we do.
Inspiration and motivation.
When I started the exchange I decided that I was going to paint and draw native plants however, after seeing the variety of work created by my fellow "Nature Trailers", I can't help deviating now and then from that original plan. This has been one of the many benefits I've discovered from participating in this group sharing. Some other benefits are the way this project sustains my energy and increases my motivation to continue. When I see the creativity and diversity of work produced I also understand that there are no rules, really, when it comes to recording nature in these sketchbooks.
March entry -
|Coral fossil from the Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland.|
I knew I wanted to paint some “rocks” for Giovanni’s sketchbook before it arrived. I was inspired by his beautiful paintings of semi-precious stones and fossils. I brought back a coral fossil from my Irish visit last summer when I spent a week in the Burren area - a must every time I get back to Ireland. (Confession: I still feel a bit guilty about taking it.) Later back in Oregon a friend gave me some coral and, even though it probably has no connection to the kind of coral found in Burren fossils, I included it. It’s always a fun challenge to paint white on white and I like the way the bleached white of the coral compliments the blue-grey of the fossil.
|View of Mullaghmore with turloughs in the middle ground.|
I had been in the Mullaghmore area of the Burren National Park to study the shrubby cinquefoil, Potentilla fruticosa; my plant for the Irish Botanical Alphabet Exhibition, Aibítir. I found the shrub along the shore of a large turlough on the southern side of the dramatic limestone “coil” of Mullaghmore. I had intended to include this landscape scene in the background of my Aibítir painting but had chickened out in the end due to a combination of time pressure and loosing my nerve- something I have regretted ever since. You live and learn. However, I felt braver about including it in Giovanni’s sketchbook which I'm sure is due in no small part to the encouraging support I have experienced from the "Nature Trailers". And for that I feel very grateful.
|Fossil, coral and Mullaghmore in background.|