This is only a test of my WordPress App from my phone. If this were an actual blog post, you might expect to finding something amazing or amusing or faintly interesting. Sorry to disappoint.
Lab lab, blah
After seeing an enchanting spray of this plant, previously unknown to me, at a garden club meeting several years ago, I immediately determined I needed to grow it for myself and draw it. Research revealed that the name of the plant, which had sounded at the time like a direction in the back court from a tennis partner: “Lob! lob!” was in actuality Lablab, or Hyacinth Bean Plant. Fast forward several failed horticultural attempts later and finally this season I managed to get the dratted thing to bloom but it’s a pale imitation of what I remember as a gently downward arcing blossom spray with several deep pink blossoms measuring 2 inches across set against deep green heart shaped leaves. All of the blossoms I have are borne on upright stems as you see and they are quite small, barely an inch across, with the admittedly heart-shaped leaves being a bit of a sickly looking green. Hm. Well, I am still going to draw this in my journal after all that work, but if I ever attempt to grow this again I will need to rethink the requirements of this plant and check to see if there are some cultivars with showier flowers. I’ll update this post when the journal drawing is done.
It’s a lucky day when…
You are attempting to put your hair in a tidy pony tail with an elastic band and the cheeky, bouncy band pops out of your hand and carves a perfect arc toward the bowl of the commode next to the bathroom counter and you watch with bated breath as it misses the bowl and lands innocently on the ground. It really is the little things in life that you most appreciate, especially after a week spent fighting a beastly head cold.
November sketch 2022
The sketchbook exchange project proceeds apace. Each book as it comes along with more sketches in it seems to develop a personality of its own. It can be a bit of a challenge to find specimens that fit on the small pages of these little accordion books but this month I knew when I saw these seed pods littering the ground on my morning walk that I’d easily find one just the shape and size for this journal page and I also knew that they’d be perfect subjects for the ink drawing I wanted to do this month. Then I couldn’t help myself and added just a little colored pencil to highlight those fascinating wispy crispy structures curling about in the empty pods. I never had noticed those before.
Here’s an image showing the whole book to date:
I wonder what my book looks like now?
Here’s the sketch in progress. I noticed the owner of the book had penciled in a rectangle behind her image so I thought I’d add a box behind mine. This is a favorite technique of Lara Call Gastinger that I’d like to employ more often in my sketchbooks. She does it with watercolor and it’s the work of a few minutes. I did mine with colored pencil and it was the most time consuming part of this little sketch.
Here’s the finished sketch and below, the entire sequence to date. The instructions for artists on this one indicated we could use one or 2 pages, our choice. I opted for one page since I have had a LOT going on this month and want to get something done in my own sketchbook this week as well.
A big part of this project is encouraging people to work across the page boundaries to build continuity between images, so I thought I’d try it this month. I’m moderately satisfied with that aspect of the work, but I hope that the next person to work in this book can integrate my image further with theirs.
I have the November’s journal in my possession already and I can see that even with the same artists immediately preceding me, each book is taking on a character all its own that begins with the original illustration. It’s fascinating to watch the images build upon one another as they march across the pages and to see how different the sketches are month to month from the same artists due to being inspired by that original image and subsequent entries.
Another UFO becomes a FO
Here’s a design from Mary Corbet’s “Spring Variety” pre-printed towel set. I am calling it Summertime because I need more towels for June, July and August. Not to mention Sunflowers and Zinnias bloom in summer. I see that horizontal crease but have been unable to press it out. You are warned not to press the pre-printed designs prior to stitching, and now I don’t want to compress the lovely 3-D effect of the threads by pressing too aggressively so I’ll just have to live with that crease.
I’m getting close to having a towel for every month, which was my initial goal for this project. What to embroider after that? Honestly, I think I’ll just keep on with the kitchen towels. They are so much fun to work.
P.S. In crafting circles, a UFO is not a suspected alien spacecraft, but an UnFinished Object.
Well, the first sketch in someone else’s book is now finished and sent off to the next artist, about a month ahead of schedule.
And this has allowed me to go back to my own personal perpetual sketchbook and get back to work there. This is my first image that adds to something from the previous year since I started about this time last year. There are some lengthy gaps in the year, but I’ll make a real effort to put something in every gap this year. It will be interesting to see if the gaps tend to want to occur in the same places each year.
And here’s the real magic if this kind of work: when I opened the book and saw that mantis sketch from this time last year I remembered everything about the day the boys and I discovered the mantis on our pickle ball net and took photos:
I posed him (Her? Who but another mantis knows for sure?) on a lichen-covered branch I’d collected over at the coast. My journal, my rules. No true naturalist would unite 2 finds collected at such distances from one another in both space and time, but it made for a much nicer image. Style over substance? Sure, but the nature journal police are not welcome here:
Yellow Star-thistle is a noxious invasive weed, but I can’t resist wanting to draw those spiky thorns. This specimen was collected on my morning walk around the River Nine sewage treatment plant last Monday. As Mom used to say: there’s the effluent of the affluent. She did have a way with a phrase.
The other project finished this week was Isabel “Izzy” the doll and her blue jammies. This is a joint project with Penelope.
All in all, a productive week.
But wait, there’s more!
As promised I’m adding a Zinnia blossom to this month’s sketch.
I planted the California Giant Zinnias with the express purpose in mind to use them as subject matter for this project and my own personal journals as well. They’ve taken over the back corner of my yard with their cheerful exuberance after a very slow start. The first batch got mowed down immediately by either slugs and snails or earwigs. A second planting was more successful. Perhaps too successful.
And you can also see that I’ve been doing some embroidery at my drawing table. See the little green origami ort box and my tool block at the back. It’s dangerous when I start mixing metaphors and artistic pursuits. You never know what might happen next. I could put stitches in my artwork or paint on my needlework. Simply shocking!