30 May 2008

Green Hour #3: Drawing



The third Green Hour assignment was a fun one. Monkey's too little for a nature journal just yet, but I have a sketch book that I've been using as a nature journal, and it's been a long time since I did anything with it. I drew some spent lilac seeds in March, but I haven't touched it since then. It's hard to pay enough attention to be able to draw things well when I've got to keep such close track of the Monkey. Our yard's not fenced in, plus the flowers that I wanted to draw are in the front, so I took pictures of them and drew a tulip after Monkey went to bed last night. I haven't done tons and tons with color, so I was pretty pleased at how this turned out.




We're still working on outside words: "mulch" "garden" "(wood)pecker" "finch." We spent plenty of time outside since the last challenge. We're putting in a vegetable garden and trying the lasagna gardening so that we can neglect it a couple of times this summer and hopefully still have a good harvest. Found a couple of good links for gardening & composting & things with kids:

On KidsGardening:
Making Haste with Waste
Building Soil Nature's Way

One thing that I was worried about when I started to think that Charlotte Mason's nature study ideas, her suggestions of spending large chunks of time outside, had merit is that I'm completely terrified of bees (and anything that looks like it could possibly be a bee or wasp like object). I've been known to scream if one comes within several feet of me. The last time one landed on me I was working right up to crying when a kind friend flicked it off for me. So going outside is a bit of a challenge. Especially since we've removed about 6 nests from our property since we moved in. There was a time when I could hardly stand to go out my back door because several times I opened the door to find huge black wasps trapped between the screen and the door. But Monkey loves to be outside. It's a difficult thing for me, but recently I started praying every time I see a bee. And it's helping. We spent all day outside on Memorial Day, working on the garden. At the end of the day I was happy and relaxed in spite of the fact that I'd been buzzed a couple of times. I'm so grateful for the Lord's help with this - and I wish I'd asked for it years ago!

Here's another post from Barb about drawing in Nature Journals. She's got some great ideas among the things she's included in hers.

8 comments:

misskate said...

Very nice! The picture looks great!

Ritsumei said...

Hey thanks! It's always nice to get compliments from a Real Artist!

Sherry said...

Your Journal entry is gorgeous! Good job!

Sherry

P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog.

keri said...

You must have had some kind of art lessons!
Oh...you are missing out on the outdoors!
Don't let bees and wasps stop you!
I know that they have terrible stings, but I have been around them frequently and not been stung...ever!

Anne Chovies said...

definately some talent there! Making time for art brings lots of feel-good moments. You should keep making time for it!

Ritsumei said...

I'm working on the whole bee thing. The Lord is making it possible. I've spent more time outside this summer than in the past several years... combined. Already. Some days it's hard. But I keep going out there and I'm really enjoying it.

My art "lessons" consisted of five minutes with an amazing artist friend who actually doesn't even remember the conversation we had. His advice, in a nutshell, was to trust your eyes. Draw what you see, even if it doesn't make sense. Think in terms of lines & angles, rather than eyes and noses, so your less likely to trigger the regular symbolic/formulaic stuff that you used to do. But mostly, he said to draw what you SEE. Just following that direction changed my drawing - night and day - in those 5 minutes.

The other thing he did was to loan me his copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, which I worked through systematically for about 2/3 of the book. I eventually ran into an exercise that was difficult to set up, and rather than just skipping it I got distracted and moved on to another project. But by that time I'd learned a few things about drawing, and practiced quite a bit.

I absolutely agree on the whole making time thing, AnneChovies! I think that it's the practicing that has made all the difference. I've never felt like I was particularly gifted or talented at drawing. What I have that other people don't is 10+ years of practice. It's become really apparent to me in the course of teaching piano lessons that it's not ability that makes or breaks a pianist: it's the time that they put into it. I've had some very talented students that progressed very slowly and eventually quit because of lack of practice. And I had one student who left his first lesson and I was scared: I had No.Idea. what I was going to do with him. The lesson had gone that poorly. But he was the most consistent practicer I've ever taught. Whatever I asked him to do, he did it and kept at it until he did it well. And he progressed quickly.

Keeley said...

DUDE!! You can DRAW!! What a gorgeous picture. =)

Ritsumei said...

Thanks Keeley!

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