A friend of my house mate's just rescued a baby barred owl and brought it over to see us the other night. He was more adorable than I could do justice to in sketches or photographs, and he was remarkably well behaved and just hung out with us and posed for me to sketch him. What a treat.
I've kept thinking about that mayapples watercolor sketch, and I'd like to try a print from it. So I went back today on my dog walk to do a couple more sketches for some more information to work from.
It depends on the time I have available, but now that it's nice, I'm trying to carry sketching gear more regularly on my daily walk to just have when something catches my eye. I'm not a huge fan of butt packs, but I won one in a kayak race years ago, and it does do the job nicely without making my back hot while I'm walking. I've got one pencil case in there with pens, an ink brush pen, a water brush pen, and a teeny-tiny watercolor kit in a mini Altoid tin. I usually take the smaller square Handbook journal, which is my new favorite sketch book, and I put in my trusty Thermarest inflatable butt cushion. It's not only nicer to sit on, but it protects from both damp and cold as well. It deflates, folds in half, and rolls up. In a week where we've had a lot of rain, it's essential for sitting on the ground in the forest, although a folded up plastic sack would also offer the essential damp protection.
I'll be sharing these and other tips at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens when I teach a class on the practicalities of outdoor sketching on Saturday, May 30th from 12:30-4:30. More information here. I'm excited to get to teach at Dixon in their beautiful gardens.
The weather has been largely gorgeous lately, and the wildflowers are popping out. It's my favorite season in the Old Forest of the park by my house. I've been going out sketching in between deadlines and another dance weekend. Above are Mayapples, which have got me thinking about a print. Below are trillium, first budding and then fully open.
I've been running around meeting a few deadlines and turning in a show, but when I'm lucky, this is what my office looks like for the afternoon.
I'm excited to get to lead the Memphis Urban Sketchers in the Old Forest this Saturday. Come join us and draw. We'll meet at Veterans' Plaza in Overton Park at 10 am. I'd suggest long pants for poison ivy, which is just starting to come back up, and something dry to sit on. But it's been lovely to take my sketch pad and journal and hang out in the woods the last week.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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