It was wild in the night, the sound of wind and rain woke us more than once. The rain showed no sigh of stopping and I walked to the shop under trees tossing their branches in the blustery gusts. The lane was muddy and littered with twigs blown from the scots pines and many other trees around our house. A lot of the twigs were heavily covered with lichen, not normally so easily visible close up when the branches are still in the trees.
Lichens are not plants, (I discovered), have a variety of forms, and their complexity (and my ignorance) became increasingly apparent when I tried to find out more.
When I tried to draw the shapes from just one twig, they were so intricate that I had to resort to a very rough approximation. But I now realise I am looking at a whole new life form, very long lived and among the oldest living things. Wow, you never know what you’ll discover on a rainy day.
This little bottle accompanies me most days when I’m out and about. This morning we went to exercise class together, and tonight we will go to choir. Filled with water, I miss it if I forget to take it with me.
But its simple shape and bright colours are not easy to draw. And focusing on it makes me realise how clean fresh water is another everyday commodity I don’t often stop to appreciate. Today there’s a lot of water falling from the sky, so I need to be reminded to be thankful for its abundance, and that we have enough to meet our needs.
At the beginning of the month I said I would allow myself to have a day off if I didn’t want to make a comment every day. Otherwise it becomes a duty, not a joy. Yesterday I didn’t comment. Sometimes, like the wet Sunday yesterday, we just need to keep ourselves to ourselves.
But this morning the rain has stopped and these little flowers, glistening in the wet garden, are a joy. Hiding amongst their dark green leaves their subtle flowers aren’t garish, but nonetheless colourful. They made me want to draw them and attempt to capture their colour. Once again the process was all absorbing, the result not so satisfying.
But I feel better for looking into their faces.
It has been a busy couple of days, and I didn’t make any “comment” yesterday. Today there were no pressures and I could take my time. The morning was misty and grey and I stood at the window and watched a song thrush on the lawn. Stepping outside the first sound I could hear was the rain, but gradually I became aware of bird songs all around.
I am not good at identifying them all, but just listening was enough to connect with their underlying joy. So I made a little collage from pages from an old poetry book, and a drawing of a thrush. My comment on their songs…
Perhaps the hardest time of any kind of January art/creative blog challenge is about now. This is when I begin to think “what can I do today?” and feel I am having to search for inspiration. This is the time energy wanes and I run out of steam. To renergise I wondered what I could do today that was a bit different.,
Just outside my window the winter jasmine is flowering with courageous little yellow trumpets undeterred by gloom and rain. I have drawn it before, but today I decided to brush up my free machining skills, and trying drawing it with thread instead of pencil. And I know that watercolours can dry very pale and insipid on fabric, so I thought I would try some new inktense colours I had been given as a present.
Result? Well my free machining needs some practise, the inktense colours are certainly bright, but they lack subtlety and weren’t the best for blending. But at least I tried something different!
We walked along the beach this afternoon in some lovely wintery sunshine. The tide was out and it was easy walking on the flat sand. I picked up some shells thinking I might draw them. Nothing too difficult, simple shapes, not complicated.
“A bit nondescript in fact “, I thought when I picked up my pencil, “and quite similar”. But I was wrong. Although the shells are roughly the same size and shape, the textures and colours are beautifully subtle and everyone is different. Another little lesson for me to learn in my attempts to draw them.
There’s no such thing as “nondescript”!