Once upon a time, someone got the bright idea to plant a bunch of bamboo as a hedgerow between our house and the one next door. When done it probably looked like a good idea. The problem is that over time, the bamboo takes over EVERYTHING because its roots propogate the plant(s) into a persistent monster plant.
So, ever since we bought the place we’ve been fighting it by cutting it back continually. We seem to be winning the battle as this year we don’t have much of it along our driveway (its last stand), leaving a sort of grassless, bamboo-less area.
What’s happened, though is a big surprise. We’ve got a “field” of tiny strawberry plants. There are hundreds of them, most less than two inches high and sporting 3 distinct leaves. Normally we’d be mowing and/or planting something but I’m going to let things go to see what happens. I don’t think that these plants are going to get much taller and I could find only a couple flowers. But I did find one plant that had two microscopic strawberries. They even tasted like strawberries, though you’d need a couple hundred of them to make a handful. I had to draw the little guy. Full size this plant measure just over 1″ high.
I was hunting for something in my sketch bag and found one of those tiny Hahnemuhle fan-fold sketchbooks. I’d never used it. My first thought was of Vicky Williamson, a sketcher who has done some wonderful sketches in such a book and probably the reason I bought it.
Vicky has always been special to me. I’ve never met her but I’ve followed her sketching for years. She’s something of a “tiny” specialist. She owns half of the small palettes on the planet and most of her sketches are small. 5×8 is a large sketch for her.
Each of her sketches is a little gem and she always has a story to tell about them, whether it’s of a hospital scene, travel sketch, or just a flower or two. Each shines brightly.
And so I thought I would do a tiny sketch in her honor. We were putting some odd-shaped (at least to me) marigolds in our garden so the subject was easily chosen. Only one thing was missing, my Kaweco Lilliput pen. Vicky uses one often. Hers is copper and mine aluminum, but it seemed appropriate for the task. I loaded up some DeAtramentis Document Black into it and started drawing.
I used a Micro-Palette that I attach magnetically to my sketch bag drawing board and a simple clip to hold the sketchbook in place. This is my standard on-the-go system and it worked just as well with the tiny sketchbook as it does with my 8×10 S&B books. I can see why she enjoys sketching small. The results somehow seem brighter than if done in a larger size.
Vicky writes in her sketchbooks but I’ve always preferred doing that on my blog, so my sketch lacks the complete presentation like Vicky’s sketch pages. Nevertheless, I was happy with the result and it was fun to walk in her shoes, if only for a while. Here’s to you, Vicky, for all the inspiration you’ve provided over the years. Say hi to Bill, Tater and Tot.
This spring and summer is rivaling COVID lockdowns for disrupting the flow of outdoor life. Spring and summer for those of us living in a certain northern latitude continues to be a steady stream of rainy days. We’re trying to get our garden planted, some house repairs done and, for the most part, we sit watching the rain. The worst part is that weather has become completely unpredictable so it rains when sun is predicted and it’s sunny when it’s supposed to rain. So, while we’re making some progress, it comes from saying “It looks like it’s not going to rain for the next few hours, I’m going to…” Weird that.
Anyways, I sat on the deck, watching the rain (very pleasant) and decided to sketch one of an army of Impatiens that are destined to form a defense against grass invaders to a flock of hostas.
It’s been raining all day so I thought I’d write a blog post. Hope you like the plant sketch.
I’ve mentioned the heat wave that’s occurring on planet Quebec City and it still rages on. Yvan and I thought that maybe we should sketch in my backyard, which is shady and close to a fridge full of ice cold water. This turned out to be a good idea and we had some fun in spite of the heat. Here’s a sketch I did of part of the perimeter of our yard. Too many leaves.
Fabriano Artistico, Pilot Falcon, DeAtramentis diluted brown/black