Foraging

It's finally here, my favorite time of the year! The cooler weather, amazing changing colors of leaves, glorious luminous cloud formations and beach sunsets, apple orchards, pumpkin patches.  As fabulous as all of this is, in Michigan it also means the end is near of all things green and growing until next spring.  For a botanical artist, that means scurrying around to visit as many gardens and green spaces as possible with my camera and sketchbook, like a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter.

Lately I've been able to take a little time to wander through some of my favorite secret gardens and soak in the beauty.  Draw, paint, doodle, photograph, observe, breathe, whatever you need to do, I hope you get out there too, it's so good for the soul. 

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Gardening

I love springtime.  I didn't used to, because I thought of it as the season of rain, and mud, and road construction, and seasonal allergies.  But now that I'm a little older, and the pace is a little slower, and I get to paint flowers (yay!),...it's more about planting, and growing, and greenhouses, and and garden centers!  There's something very serenely therapeutic about digging in the dirt and connecting to the earth.  Then there's the anticipation of that first bloom, and capturing it at the perfect stage of opening, with the perfect morning backlighting, and the perfect water dew drops on it.  Although I have literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of reference photos in my "to paint" file already, I just can't resist adding a few more that might inspire me later.  Then there's the trying to paint that, to save the beauty of that image you saw, although it will never really be nearly close to as good as the real thing.

I recently finished reading a book by Annie Downs titled:  Looking For Lovely, that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.  I also almost forgot to write to you (blog people) this month because of all of the loveliness happening in the gardens right now (mine and all of my fabulous friends that share theirs with me, thank you!)

To every thing there’s season, and a time to every purpose under heaven
— Ecclesiastes 3:1

So I hope you get to dig in the dirt a little this month, visit a garden, plant one, or paint one...and please definitely take the time to look for lovely, and soak it in.