Churchill Woods Watercolor Sketch


Red-wing blackbird parks above my head…That watchful eye focused on me while repeating mild warning calls.  check, check, check
His shoulder badge bears witness to his duty as forerunner, he’s obligated I suppose.

But to the dragonflies, they pay no mind…darting, chasing, they zip within inches of me.

And to the fish, they pay no mind…springing out and doing belly flops right next to me.

So too those mosquitoes outright laugh as they happily munch on me.

Therefore red-wing, step down. There is no danger here. Step down.

Mulberry Watercolor Sketch


I’ve discovered three mulberry trees in my new backyard. Two on one side dividing the property line and one dividing the other. I didn’t realize it was a mulberry until the berries developed.

Having a hunch this was mulberry, before I ate, I armed myself with a field guide to edible plants. Confirming, I partook in the most delicious free berries provided by my loving Father.

Please always double and triple check that the berries in the wild are safe before eating. Check leaf pattern too and do not rely solely on the look of the berry.

Anyway as I was eating my step daughter came out and was appalled. Flailing her arms and running towards me she screeched, “What the heck are you doing?!?”

I responded, “I’m eating mulberries. Look they’re safe.”
Then I showed her proof in the field guide.

In disgust she said, “I would NEVER! EWW. GROSS!”

Showing her PROOF AGAIN, I could not change her mind.

Then my neighbor came out and overheard our conversation and responded, “Oh we eat them all the time.”

Step-daughter pipes up, “Oh really? Cool!”
And begins to scarf them down.

I laughed because I have proof, but she believed practically a STRANGER.

Ha ha ha! Oh well, I’m thankful my neighbor came out and we were able to introduce this gem to the next generation!

Finally Finches at Feeder Watercolor Sketch


After hanging the feeder at my new residence and watching not one single guest partake for 4 WEEKS….finally….a pair of American Goldfinches happily dine and I in the window, happily watch with a big silly grin from ear to ear.

So I start to wonder. How does a bird find a new feeder? By sight? By smell? And why does it take so long?

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
“They are drawn to feeders because they see the seed, see or hear other birds feeding, have learned a “search pattern” for bird feeders, or are very inquisitive and investigate new things on their territory or along their migratory route. Seed eating birds do notice other birds at feeders–by sight and sound–and join them.”

Welcome friends. I’ve waited patiently. No not really, ha ha ha!


Now go tell your friends where to get a good meal.

Sketch Class Results Blackwell Forest Preserves


This is Silver Lake at the beautiful Blackwell Forest Preserves in Warrenville, IL. To celebrate nature and soak in all the serene sensations it provides, a few of us met here to create. Just mere pigment, paper, and water, but oh so much more to the artist who connects with nature!


And connect we did. Together, but yet each in our own world when painting.


Note to self: Must get a recliner like this one!


I love when members work with their own preferred media. Charcoal is challenging because you are using one color. It really makes you concentrate on different values. Great exercise.


Imbedded in each our own translation, but together a gorgeous representation of Blackwell.


A close up of my finished sketch. I am so thankful for this blessing and the ability to share with others.


We made time for a hike up the hill and when we reached the top we could see all across the land.


As far as the eye could see, we counted 17 village water towers. Many butterflies competed for our attention as we stood with one hand shielding our eyes, trying to see miles away. But the butterflies were whispering, “Right here. We’re right here, look down!”

I hope you enjoyed this little get a way to Blackwell. Maybe you can set aside some time this weekend for your own little celebration with nature?

Blood Moon Sketch April 2014


Last night was the spectacular Blood Moon. This is the first of four total lunar eclipses in a row, which is called a tetrad. Why does the moon appear red? The moon is reflecting the glow from the sun which is radiating on the other side and outer edges of earth. Position: Moon – Earth – Sun.

Last night I set my alarm for 2am, not really expecting to see anything because of cloud cover and snow fall from last night, I let out a squeal, when to my surprise, out of my southern window, my eyes locked with a partial red moon!

You may not have been able to see it, so I made a short, crude video. Not the greatest quality, however better than a picture, because my lens kept trying to auto correct the moon white! Here you can see a faint color red:

Enjoy while listening to a beautiful moon song, That Moon Song by Gregory Alan Isakov

Now if you missed it don’t be upset, you have 3 more chances:
October 8, 2014
April 4, 2015
September 28, 2015

Oh how happy I am for the blessings of nature and to be able to share them with you!