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Stories Behind the Art
There is no doubt that my favourite subject for drawing and painting is nature. Always has been and always will be. I have spent hours on a single piece and just 15-20 minutes. I have recently started doing more nature journaling and love it. For me its a perfect amount of time for a piece, and since I am doing it in a sketchbook, it is quite mobile. This doesn’t mean I have stopped working on larger pieces but rather, this allows me to continue testing and refining my skills in my studio and on the go.
Here are some recent pieces.
We have found that the bees seem lower in numbers this year, which is quite concerning. They have come up a bit in the good last week. This piece combines a few different bee varieties with some based on my photos. We try very hard to ensure flowers bloom throughout the season to feed these wonderful pollinators. This piece was done with Daniel Smith watercolors.
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This stoat or weasel was hanging out on our property last year. I was taken by how cute it looked and how curious it was in what I was doing. It slowly disappeared behind a pile of wood and came out the other side with a mouse in its mouth. Quite a surprise, but it was wonderful to see nature at work. This was also done with Daniel Smith watercolors and water brushes.
We rescued a cecropia moth a few years ago when we spotted it crossing the road. We had no idea what it was, so we brought it back and placed it in one of the butterfly containers we used to raise monarchs. It almost immediately created a cocoon on a silver maple branch. It over-wintered in -35 Celsius Ottawa weather and emerged the next spring. Turns out we had a female. She emerged and hung out on the wall and attracted a male. They mated for about 24 hours and then disappeared. She would then proceed to lay her eggs, and her life ended. Yes, they only live for 10 days as a moth because they emerge without a mouth. Their sole purpose is to breed (lay eggs) and then die.
Recent Drawing Inspiration Episodes
Here are a couple of the most recent “Drawing Inspiration” podcast episodes. The podcast is available wherever you listen to music.
56: Birds, Bunnies and Cars, Oh My! It’s Time for Creative Check-in
I reflect on the last few interviews and the year to date. I talk about my recent foray into watercolor with more detail around some recent pieces as well as my toolkit. It’s also time for creative check-in to consider what is important and whether you are on the right track. I also talk about finding art time within the nooks and crannies of life and also some interesting homework using your phone.
57: Cars, Coconuts, and Letting Go of Perfection with France Van Stone
I continue my work with watercolor by painting a tractor and some bees and then drawing some rocks. France Van Stone then joins the podcast to share her creative journey. France has been able to carry her passion for art throughout her life while working full-time as a French teacher. She talks about the influence of living near a large car manufacturer in France when she was younger and the lovely accidents along the way that shaped our art. We explore the tools, materials, and approaches she has used to develop her work. We also talk about the impact of social media on creating and sharing services like Micro.blog as well as owning your own content.
What I'm Listening To
I typically talk about what I am watching but as a podcaster, so many people ask me what‘s queued up in my podcast player. In alphabetical order, here’s what I am listening to these days and while not complete, it is a good sampling.
Make More Art - A pretty good podcast from the folks at Etchr. I recently discovered this one and like it so far.
Make Do - I listen to every episode of this podcast. Julia and Tiff talk about their creative experiences. Their chemistry and openness is always a welcome addition to my day. (Tiff appeared on Drawing Inspiration Episode #15)
Skeptics Guide to the Universe (SGU) - There are many science podcasts but this is by far one of the best. A mix of current events and also a deep dive at times into all areas of science and the struggles with pseudo-science.
The Negative Space Podcast - Max Ulichney started a new podcast with Nicholas Kole, and James A. Castillo to discuss working in the film and tv industry in character design. These guys are great! (Max appeared on Drawing Inspiration Episode #27)
Writing Excuses - I have been working on a few writing pieces for some time. At just 15 minutes, this podcast is not too long and provides very helpful insight for those wishing to write a novel or short story.
Are you interested in beginning your art journey but don't know where to start or what tools are needed? Maybe you should start with drawing.
"Sketch!" is a great book by France Van Stone which we talk about on Episode 57of the podcast. She has created a wonderful guide for those interested in sitting down for the first time or revisiting art after a number of years. She covers tools, techniques, and a few tips and tricks. She also has a series of prompts to get you going. This is a great addition to any artist's bookshelf and a wonderful gift idea. You can find here.