Drawing Inspiration In Season

Draw what you love.

The seasons can inspire how we experience the world around us. Autumn in New England is a sensory delight. The sun’s golden light is low in the sky, making for bright contrasting shadows in the day and dramatic emblazoned sunsets at dusk. The axial tilt of the planet increases the length of night, cooling the air. In the northeast that means that the trees are an artist’s palette of red, orange, yellow, amber and russet greens. Fruits of the season reflect these colors, now harvested for food storage, savory cooking and festive decoration. The gourds, squashes and apples offer the artist’s eye a feast of warm colors and three-dimensional shapes. Time to draw.

There is an appetizing comfort in the abundance of fall fruits displayed at local stores and farmer’s markets. The bright colors and organic shapes activate the senses. What we see, hear, smell, touch and taste awakens creative memories of the gifts of October. I enjoy observing and drawing the whimsical gourds that are grown locally for decoration. Nature has a way of imprinting her iconography in our visual mind. Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny to over 700 pounds. They are grown for pies and pleasure. Some of the pumpkins are orange with black bat wings and some are a ghostly white. In Maine many homes and businesses decorate for fall and Halloween. Whimsical gourds and pumpkins are accented by the falling leaves. It is hard not to be inspired by the colorfully animated scenery.

In my studio the fruits of fall get a closer look. The colors and textures are unique to the growing season. I like looking and touching these seasonal objects. They offer a glimpse into the design diversity of nature. This time of year I often use gourds for models when I teach art classes with wellness groups, and then spend quiet time in my studio drawing them. I like using simple tools, colored pencils on medium weight drawing paper. On a cool fall afternoon drawing the bumps and curves of a gourd is just the creative self-care I need. It a visual challenge that reminds me of the beauty and bounty of the autumn season.

Drawing is a way to observe and learn about the things we enjoy in season. It doesn’t require complicated materials or special skills. The more we draw the more we can know about a thing, a place, a moment, a feeling. The more we draw the better we draw. It is a mind-body-spirit creative practice. Take me time to draw from the creative well of your being. Draw what inspires your creative wellness. Draw what you love.

Parents As Teachers: Learning By Instinct And Experience

Mother loon in a teachable moment.

The loon parent looks serene in my photo, but she’s teaching her fledgling a lesson in survival. What you don’t see is her juvenile loon hiding under the pine trees along the shore as a big, hungry eagle looks on. I’m compelled to write about how this mother loon used a teachable moment to save her baby. It taught me that the sentient nature of an animal, regardless of the species, will fight for her child and teach them how to survive in the big, wild world. Continue Reading

Hope For Renewal: The Need For Creative Self-care

Creative self-care is like your personal cloud, an oasis floating in a sun-energized sky. Daydream.

Celestial events, like the recent solar eclipse, are an awe-inspiring phenomenon that reminds us of our connectedness to the cosmos. For a few hours, when Earth aligns with the Moon as it shadows the Sun, creative and spiritual sensations are awakened. The circadian rhythms of all living creatures and plants are effected by the change to darkness when the normal cycle is lightness. Daytime dims and the air cools. We witness a change in energy at the planetary level. It’s a shock and a shift. We can only be present and respect this universal force. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing when it happens, an eclipse is a moment of wonderment. Continue Reading