Arrival of Spring – mid-June

Although technically it is still Spring, it does feel like summer this week. The Summer Solstice is just days away. So this sketching project is drawing to a close. Good thing, because the sketchbook I started for this is almost full.

I have several rhubarb plants growing along one side of the back deck. I let it go to flower and the result is rather dramatic with the plumes of alien looking flower tops reaching high above the masses of enormous leaves.

Arrival of Spring – early June

Porch life

I love my front porch – from Spring through Autumn. So does my cat Harrley. The chair is a vintage garbage find from decades ago. It makes for a fun and challenging object to draw. It is a remarkably comfortable seat.

Arrival of Spring – June 6

Success!

At last! I have successfully grown radishes. Specifically this French Breakfast radish, an heirloom variety that I first tasted at the home of Deborah Madison (that’s another story!) in 2013.

These small radish are delicious, even the leaves! And so sketchable!

Arrival of Spring – June 3 & 4

Blooms

The cooler temperatures of late have meant that the lilac blooms have stayed fresh and smelling wonderful. A great flower to bring indoors.

Also in bloom are the alliums. They look particularity comical next to this wood sculpture in the garden bed. Is it an eagle? A penguin? We’re not sure.

Arrival of Spring – May 30

Heavenly

There is a virtual wall of lilac in bloom next to the front porch and the scent is heavenly! The recent heat wave caused the lilacs to burst into bloom quickly, then the cold swept in, so the flowers (and scent) may last a while yet.

Remarkably, after being too hot to sketch outdoors a few days ago, yesterday evening it got too cold to finish the sketch outside. Spring’s arrival has indeed been odd this year.

Arrival of Spring – May 26

Heat

The tulips were in full splendour when I first sketched these on May 16 (first sketch below). The current heat wave has seen them quickly whither, unfortunately. They continued to whither even as I sketched their current state yesterday. Between the heat and the short downpour yesterday, this clump of daffodils looked like yellow rags on sticks.

This sketch is dedicated to my long-time Ottawa friend with whom I have visited the tulip festival in recent years. Sadly, we could not go this year.

Arrival of Spring – late May

Destruction

Inspired by the guests on #usktalks Mike Daikubara (author of Sketch now, think later) and Rita Sabler (reportage sketcher) and this week’s challenge to record change, I grabbed my fude nib pen and a brown paper sketchbook, headed down the road a bit and started quickly recording the change in the landscape next door. I have avoided confronting it, until now.

I stood and sketched (spoke with a neighbour also disturbed by the change) then sat on my back deck, with a view of the action, to add colour. All the while, a ceaseless, tiring soundtrack of metal on rock and grinding engines filled my ears. I chose not to block it out with ear buds.

This is but a small moment in the grand scale of industrial agriculture (often financed by distant investors) where regard for the long term health of the land is secondary to cash crop profit.

It was a powerful experience to document this. I would never have done it if not for the #usktalkschallenge to document change.

(Usk is Urban Sketchers. Check out urbansketchers.org)

The rocks and boulders were all almost all dumped is a big pile at the edge of the land. Perhaps some will end up in a front yard landscape design.

Arrival of Spring – May 16

Growth

This little corner of my garden has changed a lot since I sketched it on May 3. It contains a variety of textures, blooms, plants still dormant and those just emerging. The rock in the front is a favourite, dug up on our property a couple of years ago. The driftwood is a keepsake from Grand Lake.

It should be noted that this was sketched while wearing a bug net shirt and hood – it’s black fly season.

Arrival of Spring – May 14

Spuds

I have seed potatoes almost ready to plant. Hopefully the harvest will be worth the effort and space in my garden. As I examined these spuds drying on the counter I asked myself, how can I make these looks pretty? I’m happy with the result.

Arrival of Spring – May 12

Happy!

Finally some sun and warmth is here or on its way. I was feeling very glad about that as I sketched these narcissus. I’ve been planting different types every fall for the last 5 years – these are just a few. There are more yet to bloom, so I’m happy!