Sketch what you love

I love tomatoes. Specifically, I love the tomatoes I grow from seed each year and nurture along till they produce beautiful fruit. I have over a dozen varieties growing this summer. Each year I like to sketch the various types — partly as a record, but also just to enjoy really looking at them. This sketch includes (from L to R) Jaune Flammé, Montreal Tasty, Banana Legs, Old German and Green Zebra.

Ah revoir “Chili Spice”

I have lots of lovely day lilies in my garden. They deliver a lot of beauty and colour. Their blooms last only a day, but each stem usually has several buds. A particularly stunning one, which bloomed for the first time this year, is “Chili Spice.” I quickly sketched the last of her 6 blooms (produced on one stem, every few days or so) before saying goodbye for this year. My sketch doesn’t really do her justice, but it was a joy to spend time really looking at this beauty. I will see her again next year.

Another wonderful day lily is one I bought at a former grower in Val-des-Monts many, many years ago. It produces stunning colour for most of August. The name is unknown — I’ll have to come up with a suitable one.

Mourning a Tree

Our massive, old, unusual Manitoba Maple – with so much character, and rot at the fork of it’s two big branches – finally collapsed to the ground last week. One side with a great thump, then the other eased itself down with only a sigh.

We had been monitoring the crack in it’s fork, so we knew the end was nigh.

The first sketch was done a day before the thump, standing close to this massive trunk (that measures over 100 inches in circumference) . The second sketch was done yesterday as I sat and mourned the loss of this distinct feature in our garden.

The arborist will leave a good chunk of trunk, then, with the tree removed (cut for firewood and chipped for mulch) we can plan what to plant in this spot.

Both sketches done with emotion, ink and wash.

Fleeting Moment

The shapes of clouds, the light from a setting sun, and the shadows cast across the fields were distinct and dramatic the other evening. But the light changes quickly. Fortunately I had loosely drawn the shapes that caught my eye, then relying partly on my memory, painted quickly what had been there only seconds before.

Side view

Next door we have hay bales and a clear view of this odd structure now that much of the hedgerow has been cut down. Just as I was starting to paint this my cat Harrley jumped into my lap and insisted on staying. Fortunately he didn’t paw at the paper.

Local Produ

I was relieved to see the local farm stand open recently. I feel fortunate to have this nearby, just down the road from my auto repair place. When I had to wait for my car recently I had time to sketch this. I’m not sure what happened to the “ce” on their sign.

As I was trying to sketch this I was wishing I had completed Shari Blaukopf’s course on light, colour and shadow. Next shadow attempt will be better.

Arrival of Spring – done!

Today is the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, specifically at 5:44pm when the sun reaches its highest and northernmost point in the sky, marking the start of summer for this part of the globe. And this is the last sketch in this series (and last page of the sketchbook devoted to it). This sketching theme has been a good focus during these recent exceptional months in our human existence. What lies ahead is uncertain, but hopefully, as Sam Cooke sang many years ago, “a change is gonna come” — on many fronts.

Happy Solstice greetings from my home to yours.

Arrival of Spring – late June

The variety of greens growing in my raised beds are doing very well. And soon the Scarlett Runner Beans will be climbing the cedar obelisk. As I was sketching, a gorgeous bird landed on the top of the obelisk – but the top was not in my sketch. This lovely Waxwing stayed long enough for me to observe it’s most distinctive features (Batman-like mask and tuft of head feathers) to include on the page.