Beauty in nature

On Wednesday my husband, daughter and I watched the total lunar eclipse.
Lunar eclipse
On Friday I discovered a swarm of bees in our garden.
Swarm of bees
The world is such an amazing magical place with beauty to be found everywhere. I’m grateful that painting is part of my life as it helps me to slow down and look at the wonders that surround me.

5 lessons learned from daily painting

Sketch of ScienceWorks Building

ScienceWorks Builidng – pen and watercolour wash in Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook (14.0 x 21.6 cm)

Hello! and sorry for the disappearing yet again. The school holidays started on the 19th of September and I took the kids first to Melbourne and then to Queensland. I had the best intentions to continue with the daily painting and blogging, but at the last minute decided to leave the laptop at home as it was another heavy item to drag around with me and I like to travel lightly. Once the holiday started I had to admit to myself that I would much more prefer to relax and enjoy it, instead of constantly look for the opportunities to paint.
Palm Trees
I feel that doing the daily painting challenge for 18 days was enough to teach me that:
1. I can paint regularly in the evenings.
2. Regardless of how much I enjoy painting, every evening I still had to overcome the desire to just rest and the reluctance to pick up my brushes, but once I did I would completely loose myself in the process and enjoy it immensely.
3. Painting every night at the end of the busy days is tough. From the next week I’ll aim to paint just five evenings per week allowing myself to have one evening to chill out (read a book, watch a movie, sit outside in the garden and stare at the stars) and another one to plan the week ahead and do paperwork.
4. Having a well organized work space and consistent routines helps immensely to get some painting and drawing done.
5. To continue painting in the new environment or outside my daily routines (holidays!) I need to have a well thought-out detailed plan beforehand.

18/30 – Succulents

Flowering succulent
Succulents are very easy to propagate and in the last few months I gathered a small collection by breaking bits of the succulents growing in the nature strips. Some of them are flowering at the moment. I wish I had time during the daylight hours to sketch them outside as most are in the pots that are too large to be easily carried inside.
One is still in a tiny pot, waiting to be replanted. It isn’t flowering, but the colours of the leaves are gorgeous, so in it came to be sketched.
Succulent - watercolour sketch

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook (Landscape 21×13 cm)

17/30 – A break

Yesterday my 3.5 year old son conceded that I have a name. Previously he would get upset at any mention of me having any other label than his mum: “You are mummy. I call you mummy!” On the same day he told me that “Mummies can’t be artists, because they don’t have any pencils”. This one amused me greatly, because it definitely only works in a three-year-old logic as he knows how many pencils I own.
Quick pen sketch of a child
I didn’t paint or draw in the evening yesterday. I was feeling tired and jaded (not with the painting, but with the attempting to fit in yet another new place) and knew that I needed a break. I feel much better for it today. I did do a few quick gestural sketches of my son at the playground yesterday though – they had to be quick as he is always moving around.

15/30 – Wood sorrel

Sketch - wood sorrel

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook (Landscape 21×13 cm)

These little yellow flowers are everywhere: in the gardens, sidewalks, along the stream, in the park. My friend, who knows many more names of plants and animals than I ever will, tells me that they are wood sorrel. My son brought few from the garden for me and I thought I’ll sketch them in the Moleskin sketchbook, of course since I did it at night the flowers were closed. Here is how they look during the day in the garden.
Wood sorrel

14/30 – Life Drawing

Yesterday I spent two hours at the Life Drawing session and it was one of those rare magical moments when I completely lost myself in the drawing. The mark making became more intuitive, the hand following what the eye could see, the obstructing wall of words inside my mind disappearing to the point that I struggled to form coherent sentences.  I wish I could do it every week.
Nude figure drawing - charcoal and pastel sketch
Nude figure drawing