Monthly Archives: October 2011

Sketch Class Results October 2011


A perfect midwest autumn scene: blazing reds, golden yellows and subdued browns. That’s what greeted us this crisp (downright cold) autumn morning as we met to converse with nature.


Our mission was to take a short hike and find at least three different leaves which spoke to us. We met at the fire pit circle and sketched our leaves, step-by-step.


For some, it was their first time. I’m always amazed when people say they don’t paint with watercolors…their artwork comes out so wonderful!!!


And others who regularly practice, fill their beautiful sketchbooks with vibrant memories to last.


What a fantastic spread! Such colorful delectables.


Collectively we gathered to celebrate a fleeting season and each in our own way, suddenly find ourselves connected to autumn. As time slipped out of our consciousness we reached a deeper place, a place where stress isn’t allowed, nor concerns for the realities of life. What a wonderful place to be.


Not wanting to waste this beautiful color, the idea was put to the group to walk some more and do a landscape sketch. A 2-for-1, yesssssss!


To be students of nature, what a blessing, may we never graduate but continue to be mesmerised by nature’s awe.


We captured this moment in time, autumn’s garment…how fast it changes!


my Long John Slough October watercolor

Here is a close up of my slough watercolor sketch.


my October leaves watercolor sketch

And lastly, a close up of my leaves.

I hope you enjoyed this review of October’s watercolor sketch class at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center in Willow Springs, IL. Maybe you would like to join us in November?


Help in Troubled Times -Free Download- Promise


I encountered this gentleman last weekend while hiking. He’s an elderly man who slowly walked with a cane. He seemed very friendly as he passed by and even complimented my dog. I really don’t know much more about him.

As he was almost out of sight when I wondered….Is he a widower? Does he have family? Has he lived a hard life?

Then I thought…Does he know that he isn’t alone? Alone in life, I mean, not the fact that there is another person and a dog on the same trail.

There are many promises in the bible, all are comforting but I especially gravitate towards the ones that reassure me that I’m never alone.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Heb 13:5b

“Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matt 28:20b

We don’t have to figure everything out. Our God wants us to seek His help. The weight can be lifted off of your back. *sigh of relief*
If you need further convincing, just take a look at this verse in reference to God:

Because His compassions fail not, they are new every morning…
Lam 3:22-23

Not only are we not alone but compassion for us is renewed every day. Wow, that’s humbling.

So I offer you this artwork as a free present to help you get through whatever hardship you may find yourself in today. Download the file, save it, print it, share it, do as you like.

This file falls under the creative commons license:
Creative Commons License
Help in Troubled Times – Promise by Christine Novak Kane is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

A Year in Review – The Little Red Schoolhouse Sketch Class

I am happy to present:
 A Year in Review…the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center Sketch Classes.

I am so very proud of every single person who showed up to paint.
Some were afraid, not having painted ever in their lives. Some were confident being seasoned artists. All were one however, not viewing one as better than the other, we were of course there for nature not ourselves.

Speaking of ourselves, I never would have guessed how important this class would become. The friendships I have gained and the new artists I have met…this class was truly bigger than myself.

If I, being a nobody, can create something positive for nature, celebrating creation and artistic fellowship…think of what you can do in your area! Yes you! Go ahead start something wonderful. If you do, please contact me and tell me all about it…I would LOVE to hear about it!

If you are in the Chicago area, our next free sketch class at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center is going to be this Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 9AM, meet in the parking lot. Get ready to hike first. Our assignment will be to find 4-5 different autumn leaves to paint. When we are done hiking we will sit and paint our leaves. I will show you how step by step. Now that I think of it…I’m sure we’ll have time for a quick landscape sketch too!

Click here to view supply list and address.

Autumn Storm at Night Sketch


Against the blackened sky
The autumn leaves illuminate
Raindrops pelt, weighing heavy,
Until the struggle is no more…
A descending swirl – the last dance.

Getting swept up in the season last night, I made this sketch.
When my daughter came home she yelled, “I HATE THIS WEATHER!” Then slammed the door.
“Funny…” I said, “I love it so much I’m painting it right now!”

I have always loved inclement weather especially during my favorite season. There is something mesmerizing about autumn leaves against a dark sky, as if they were on fire. And the force of a storm….strenght…something to revere.

Chukar Partridge Photos and Sketch


This chukar partridge was spotted by my cousin Jackie, who called me and asked, “Do you have your camera?!? GET OUTSIDE!!!”

So I ran.


What are you doing here Mr. Chukar? You live on the western part of the US year round and you do not migrate…this is Chicago!

Hey, anybody from Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington?  I HAVE YOUR BIRD! hahahaha.


The big monster (me) is noticed by the chukar, so he lies low.

I still see you.


chukar watercolor sketch

Anyway, I sketched this from my photos to document this bird. I do not know why he is in this area. Maybe someone brought him and released. I wish him luck as it will be very cold soon. Maybe he can find his way home.