Watercolor Nature Journal

Practicing snow and shadows with the Mulberry tree behind our house

I did work on the nature journal a bit this past Winter/Spring. I love our birds and critters but this year we did not feed them. There was a scary disease going through this part of the country. Thankfully, I did not see it with our birds, but the DNR asked us to not feed them in case it was spreading.

Tanuary 2021

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. from the Finding Your Roots (PBS) show

I like to work on a tan sketchbook in January – although I was too busy with nieces and our weekly zoom coaching sessions to do the full Tanuary challenge on social media. We had a lot of fun, even so.

I challenged the kids to use different surfaces, including cardboard pieces and talked about charcoal, pencil, crayon, pen etc. It was good drawing practice for all involved.

2021 Family Calendar

At the end of 2020 one of my final projects of the year was to create the 2021 family calendar. This one absolutely annihilated me. It is a tribute to the first sibling we have lost in my family.

I printed off the normal 8 for siblings and Mom, but I also printed off 5 for my brother Aaron’s children. Then every month I write each of them about the stories that are held in the photos of their Daddy and his childhood. It has been a hard year, but I will not regret that I did this.

  • Printed double-sided on 13×19 matte photo paper
  • This is year 16 of creating these and it will probably be my final. At this point, we can start reusing some of those I made before.

I continued to do some art after the first of the year because my nieces were begging me to continue teaching and coaching them, but I lost my spark for a number of months and am just beginning to get it back. So expect some fun posts as I catch up on what I have been doing.

Finalizing Inktober

So Inktober almost went bust for me mid month when my brother passed, but I finally jumped back in on day 21 and did a few more pieces.

Here is my wrapup:

Day 6 – Rodent
Day 7 Fancy – this was a rare bird who showed up in our area – I was practicing ink washes and will watercolor this later
Day 8 Teeth – I added this to my Nature Journal since I heard the coyotes again behind the house.
Day 21 – Sleep – this was my re-entry into my creativeness after the loss of my brother. It seemed a nice, gentle way to get back to it. My cat and pointillism.
Day 23 – RIP – My brother, Aaron
Day 25 – Buddy – My brother Ron – we were buddies growing up on the farm as the closest to my age of the 7 of us.

I had to catch up on some Christmas commissions at this point, so I put my energy into those. I also was meeting once a week with a set of nieces who were participating with me, which I will share in another post.

One other thing that kept me involved is that I am an Admin on a Facebook group called Inktober SafeSpace where artists, young and old, can share their work without imagery depicting violence, hate, and sexually explicit material. The larger Inktober can trigger someone due to depictions of suicide and depression etc. Also, some of us simply do not like all that in-your-face art.

This is a place where people can safely have fun, share and not have to deal with the artists who are going for the shock factor, edginess, and trying to push the envelope of how disgusting they can be. Sometimes life is hard enough without having it in your face 24/7. We are a small group, but we certainly had fun this year.

All of this kept me Inktober-busy! I did enjoy the “season”.

Painting During Loss

2.5 months ago my baby brother, age 44, was told by his doctors that there was not a thing they could do for the colon cancer that he had battled for some time. His wife and 5 children chose to do home hospice so that they could be with him (covid rules-grrr). This past Wednesday he passed away after a valiant fight. I have learned to despise cancer!

My way of dealing with this was to spend time painting him as I remember him, and pushing myself to get better at portraiture through this, trying again and again. I want to use this grief as a force for good instead of letting it sink me. So hang in there with me, I will be posting more Inktober soon, and my brother will be my subject more than once, I am sure.

FUNDRAISER FOR THE FAMILY

For those who feel to help his widow and children, I have included our fundraiser. Thank you!