Something to Crow About

August 27, 2015

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“He liked the hens.  He liked their bobbing, pecking scurry and the old lady sort of attitude they took about their roosts.  He liked eggs too . . .”
— Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk

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Kathryn, age 6, with home-raised eggs

Kathryn, age 6, with home-raised eggs

In k and colored pencil sketch of rooster

In k and colored pencil sketch of rooster

Watercolor sketch "Something to Crow About"

Watercolor sketch “Something to Crow About”

 

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Baby Seagulls

August 25, 2015

Baby seagulls

Baby seagulls

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Last month I happened to see these baby seagulls on a pier next to the ferry landing at Winslow on Bainbridge Island.  I realized, when I saw these spotted, fluffy creatures, that I had never before seen baby seagulls.

I imagine that most seagulls nest on bluffs or hard-to-access places, out of the stream of normal human commerce.  It looked like these babies had to stay close to the nest — those nubby wings and over-sized, gangly feet would make walking or flying impossible or too unwieldy for quite some time.  By the time they are ready to fly, they must have lost their spots and look like typical seagulls.

What a lucky occasion this was, then, to have seen two seagull chicks so close by.

Watercolor sketch of baby seagull

Watercolor sketch of baby seagull

Another watercolor sketch of baby seagull

Another watercolor sketch of baby seagull

 

Making Sun Prints

August 24, 2015

Sample sun print pillows from Blueprints on  Fabric

Sample sun print pillows from Blueprints on
Fabric

On a recent trip to Vashon Island, my friend Carol introduced me to artist Linda Stemer, who makes chemically-treated cotton and silk fabric for sun prints.  (She sells the fabric online at Blueprints on Fabric.)

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It was fun looking at samples of the blueprinted fabrics Linda had on display, but it was even more fun making our own blueprints following Linda’s super-easy instructions.  What a perfect way to take advantage of our sunny summer weather.

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You can see the entire process at this link.

I framed the feather print I made.  It goes well with our blue guest bedroom.

My feather sun print

My feather sun print

 

 

Grasses and lavender, late summer

Grasses and lavender, late summer

“Spring was a fever and autumn will be a regret, but this is the month of its own successful achievement to be more than barely sentient. . . . August is the month when the solid and the domestic triumph, when the prudent come into their own.  The very birds, whose springtime was devoted to love and music, are now responsible parents who have forgotten how to sing.  The early flowers of the woods waved their brief blossoms and are forgotten, but the roadside and the fields are taken over now by the strong, coarse, and confident weeds.”
— Joseph Wood Krutch, The Twelve Seasons: A Perpetual Calendar for the Country

Weeds with empty kiddie pool

Weeds with empty kiddie pool

Dried hydrangea with picket fence

Dried hydrangea with picket fence

 

Pursuing Pebbles

August 22, 2015

“My peace of mind comes with picking up pebbles.  Some people fly-fish.  Some people hang glide.  Some people do needlepoint.  I pick up beach pebbles. . . . pursuing and perusing pebbles gives me pleasure.  They are reminders of a natural world that grinds everything down to size.  Some the sea shatters and breaks, some it makes beautiful, some it just gives up on.  There is an aesthetic pleasure here, and an athletic one in bending and stretching; an intellectual pleasure in trying to figure out the physics of pebbles, the puzzles of tides, the working out of a set of pebbled values that depends upon rock and place and time.”
— Ann Haymond Zwinger, The Nearsighted Naturalist

Watercolor sketches of favorite pebbles

Watercolor sketches of favorite pebbles

Watercolor sketch of pebble with a hole in it

Watercolor sketch of pebble with a hole in it

Watercolor sketch of pebbles

Watercolor sketch of pebbles

 

I feel like I am in good company, for the artist Georgia O’Keeffe also was drawn to rocks and often lined her windowsills with these and other found objects.  You can see them in these photos from the March 2002 Architectural Digest article:

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What Is Illuminated

August 21, 2015

Sunrise at Green Lake

Sunrise at Green Lake

“The task of tasks is to move the world through our souls like a lantern slide and gaze in wonder at what is illuminated.”
— Phil Cousineau, The Book of Roads

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