Monthly Archives: August 2011

August 2011 Sketch Class Results


The group, 10 including myself, was the biggest we’ve ever had and on a morning like this one, it couldn’t have gotten any better; The sky: pure blue, the temps: perfectly mild, and the artistic fellowship while connecting with nature: magnificent!


We decided to hang out by Long John Slough and sketched the trail and background.


It always amazes me how beautiful everyone’s artwork turns out and how uniquely different they all are. I couldn’t say a negative thing about any one of them!


Here is a close up of my sketch. I try to emphasize quick and loose watercolor work, it helps to free yourself from being too rigid and it’s a lot of fun!


After our class we had enough time, so some of us decided to hike the White Oak Trail. On our hike we discovered this unusual looking mushroom. Someone commented that it looked like brains…ewww…yes it does! I’m not sure which type of mushroom this is and cannot make a positive match in my field guide book.

I have to admit, when I see a large group of students before starting class, I tend to get nervous. The “what if’s” start racing through my head…what if I can’t find a good spot to paint…what if they don’t like my sketch…what if I say something wrong? But after a few minutes in nature all of the worry melts away, like only nature can do, and we have a wonderful time as usual. This month was no exception, we had a splendid time playing in nature!


Skinny Pine Sketch


Skinny Pine watercolor sketch

Sometimes it feels good to get away….even if it is only for one day!

That’s exactly what I did last Saturday. I escaped to visit a long time friend in Hebron, In. We had a slumber party and talked for hours…just like we did when we were little kids!

Anyhoo, it was my first time visiting her new pad. As I walked up to her house, I was transfixed by the skinniest pine tree in the world! Well, maybe not in the whole woooorld, but you get the idea. It’s about 7 feet tall and I probably could have put my arms around it. We joked and said it was the Charlie Brown Tree, all it needed was a heavy ornament on the very top to make it lean over and droop down.

Now to many, this pine is an eyesore…under-developed, not lush, not like the other pines….but I like it all the more! It has character. It’s different. It stands out from all the other pines. It is noticed and appreciated by moi.

Maybe you have felt “different” and didn’t like it because you cannot help it?Don’t feel bad, look what God said… “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jer 1:5)
Wow! He knows us. He likes us the way we were made. So don’t let the “popular/in group” put you down!

Do you know who else has character?


Chewy does. Chewy has character.
This is my friend’s kitty. He is very, very, very friendly and wants to put his smell all over you by rubbing his face on your legs, arms, anything really. He was even putting his smell on each wooden post of this front porch banister! Chewy has a mission to mark everything. ha ha ha ha!

I enjoyed the brief time with my friend, the unusual pine, and the very friendly Chewy. I hope you enjoyed these sketches!

Help in Troubled TImes -Free Download- Waterlily

The objective of this website is to provide a tool for people seeking to become close to nature through art. Everything on here has to do with nature and/or art.

Those were my own strict rules for myself which I have kept. That is why I refrain from talking about other issues like, my family, current events, or politics, etc…

However, it seems we are living through some uncertain times. There is unrest all over the world. Demonstrations, peaceful and not, are springing up everywhere. No country’s economy is safe and there is a palpable fear about the future in the hearts of many people. Almost everyone I know is feeling it.

Then I thought, maybe people do not need to know how to paint right now, but they do need hope to deal with the trouble in this world. And they need it now.

I cannot offer much, I have no economic strategy nor advice on how to advert trouble. I can however offer my art and I can offer hope, through God who surpasses all knowledge and understanding who neither depends on currency nor uses it Himself. He is our help.

So, once a week I will offer a free download with artwork and a bit of hope. This image will fall under the creative commons, non-commercial license. That means you can use it for personal use and pass it along.


Click below for full resolution 9×6 .pdf (Don’t forget to save the file). You can print, frame it, use it as a screen saver or maybe you would like to print it and give it to someone who needs it. Email me if you need a jpg format.


Here is what St. Paul had to say about hope…

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Don’t worry, I will continue to provide free art lessons, sketches, and education in nature. I hope this free artwork will provide inspiration and a little encouragement!

Creative Commons License
Hope in Troubled Times Waterlily by Christine Novak Kane is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Birdie Bookmarks

I’ve finished a new series of bookmarks…for those who love birds and books! Each bookmark is laminated and includes a tassel.

$4 each or $12 for all 4 birds.
Includes shipping in US


Black-capped Chickadee bookmark.
click here to order chickadee only $4


Eastern Towhee bookmark
click here to order towhee only $4


Female House Sparrow bookmark
click here to order sparrow only $4


Male American Goldfinch bookmark
click here to order goldfinch only $4

Click here to get all 4 bird bookmarks $12.
That means you get one for free!
(free shipping in US)

Each bookmark is printed on 80lb card stock, laminated, and has a tassel. The size is about 6×2.5″ without tassel. Tassel colors may vary slightly.

Nature at Lake Katherine Sketch

flora and fauna lake katherine sketch

Do you want to go on a virtual field trip with me to Lake Katherine?!? Fascinating nature is ooozing from every corner this time of year and we’re loving every inch of it!


First, we’ll start in the garden. Black-eyed Susans, Purple cone flower, and ornamental grasses surround the butterfly sculpture.


And who enjoys the garden besides us? This tiger swallow butterfly enjoys the garden by drinking sweet nectar. I think this plant is Salvia, however I could be wrong.


The clearwing humming bird moth also loves this plant too.


Walking on the trail, I encountered this HUGE mushroom. The top was about 6″ wide and the entire mushroom had to be 6″ tall. I do not know what type of mushroom this is with scalloped edges. Or maybe perhaps it is so large that the top split on the edges when opening?


Continuing on our trail…..look who’s crossing! A milkweed tussock moth caterpillar…..WHOA! He looks like a tiny (1″ long) yellow pipe cleaner with white and black hair tufts. NEAT!


Finally we reach the lake and see our swan family. Dad, mom, and 6 juveniles swim together. The young fish for something good to eat and I love to watch them.

I hope you enjoyed this quick get-a-way to Lake Katherine in Palos Heights, IL.