He waits on bended bough.
Tilts his head and scans the ground.
I am ever so thankful for moments like these. An unexpected surprise in nature, catching me off guard, instantly uplifting my spirits. And this spirit I have is the very thing that connects to the Spirit in nature. When you’re open to it, you can feel the Spirit all around especially in nature.
Just that morning when I spotted the hawk, I read these verses about God:
The depths of the earth are in His hand,
and the mountain peaks belong to Him.
The sea is His, for He made it.
His hands formed the dry land. Ps 95:4-5
Beauty was made for us. To provide for us and to give us joy. Nature without God is dead. How empty the thought! Random cells with no purpose? No hope… because nothing was meant to be? I’ll pass on that idea. Enjoy the blessings of nature but more importantly the One who made it.
Posted in art, Artwork, Birds, Chicago, nature, Nature Sketching, sketchbook, weather
Tagged art, Artwork, fog, God, hawk, journal, nature, painting, red tail hawk, sketchbook, watercolor
16°F with a windchill of 2°F
The sun paints pines with toasty colors,
But does nothing to the raw wind.
The steady wind numbs.
And pine needles shave the ice.
I love warm colors in the wintertime. You especially see it right before or during sunset… the sun casts yellow, orange, and pinks on white cold snow…or reds blazing on tree bark…yet it’s frigid out. The sun gives the illusion of warmth, but our skin knows better.
Posted in art, Artwork, Chicago, nature, Nature Sketching, poetry, sketchbook, watercolor sketching, weather
Tagged art, Artwork, journal, pine, poem, sketchbook, snow, watercolor
Oh Winter Sycamore~
Your camouflage skin failed.
You grew it in vain.
Against the black of pine, you radiate in contrast.
But I like that unlikeness about you, your nonconformity…
Don’t hide it. Be distinct.
It’s your calling.
The sycamore tree has a very unusual bark pattern. It looks just like camouflage. From a distance you would think this tree has some snow on its branches, but it does not.
Ironically, its camouflage trait is exactly what caught my eye the day I spotted it against a thick plot of pines.
As an introverted artist, I am just like this sycamore in the poem. I hate having attention on me, I try to blend in as much as possible and be quiet, but all I do is stick out even more. Ha ha ha!
Here’s to being unique and sticking out!
Posted in art, Artwork, Chicago, Landscape, nature, Nature Sketching, poetry, sketchbook, watercolor sketching
Tagged art, Artwork, camouflage, journal, painting, poem, sketchbook, sycamore, tree, watercolor, watercolor sketching, winter
These people do not have cabin fever.
Adding people to your sketch (something I rarely do because I’m usually a hermit when I go out) gives movement and life and also provides scale. A nice challenge I think you’ll enjoy.
Posted in art, Artwork, Chicago, Nature Sketching, sketchbook, watercolor sketching
Tagged art, Artwork, journal, nature, people, sketchbook, watercolor, winter
Look closely at nature. There’s life everywhere. There’s a plan. Take your time when inspecting, like you have all the time in the world. Time? Throw away that watch. Stop checking your cell phone…. Get lost in exploration.
Winter has some secret jewels. It’s not all gloom and gray. Look at the abundance of different life forms supported by this dead branch. Fascinating!
Amber Jelly Roll fungus glistens a deep red color in the sun, Lichen spotted with black spore portals, bright and dark green mosses, dazzles me like a kid with a new toy.
Like a kid I took it home to study and guess what happened? The dry heat of my home, such a drastic contrast to the ecosystem it had, dried up the jelly fungus and discolored the moss. See before and after photos.
After (about 18 hours)
I expected this kind of change, but not as quickly. It would have been interesting to record this branch as a time lapse and measure the speed at which the jelly dried up. And do this over again with different controlled room temperature settings.
There’s a secret scientist buried in me somewhere. Others (you know who you are) just call me a nerd. Well… I LOVE being a nerd.
Posted in art, Artwork, nature, Nature Sketching, sketchbook, watercolor sketching
Tagged amber jelly fungus, art, Artwork, branch, journal, lichen, moss, painting, sketchbook, watercolor