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July 28, 2011


You should submit this to the Festival of the Trees.

These are all lovely, Beth. Is that the park we walked through to get to your place, I've forgotten the name?

Love these, Beth!

Thanks for the suggestion, Dave - I just went over and did it.

Marja-Leena, yes, that's the same park! Parc Lafontaine.

Thank you, Uma!

I like these, Beth; your line is so lively. I've had similar interest in how to "represent" foliage, but I haven't made drawings in quite awhile. My eye always goes searching for rhythm and pattern. I love to look at Charles Burchfield and the charcoal drawings of Emily Carr (who's Canadian)--both of whom are quite stylized but have great emotional impact.

Rosemary, thanks for the comment and those suggestions -- I've just spent a while looking at drawings by Carr and Burchfield and a few others, maybe I'll write something further about this topic. Van Gogh is another artist who explored foliage within the landscape a great deal -- do you know his drawings made with a blunt pen, in sepia?

Thanks for writing -- and I hope you'll make some drawings one of these days!

Yes, Festival of Trees!

And you should look at Laura Frankstone's pen and ink trees, too. She has done a lot of experimenting and put it on line...

Nice, Beth - I like the bottom one best,its density and movement.
I too love Van Gogh's pen drawings of landscape. He managed to suggest solid forms by the way the strokes of his pen follow them - like undulating soil, tree trunks etc.- they seem to clarify and organise the chaos in nature that our eyes see. Foliage is especially tricky.If you don't draw every leaf,like some 'naive' artists (and quite lovely too) there has to be a shorthand. Chinese brush drawings are another way.

Well, I didn't know you drew! Of course, there's a lot of a lot I don't know about you! Thank you for your comment about the rigor of my line----that is exactly what I'm after, or one of the main things anyway. I've long tried to replicate the spirit and energy I sense (see, feel, even hear) in trees, flowers, other growing things---- the force that through the green fuse drives the flower, as Thomas describes it. I'm an animist!

I forgot to say I like your drawings very much, Beth. I encourage you to do more and more and more.

Natalie, thanks. Looking at some more Chinese brush paintings is a good idea, though right now I'm intrigued with what can be done with line alone.

Thank you so much, Laura! A great compliment coming from you, and I appreciate it. I'm a graphic designer by profession but have drawn and painted for much of my life. However there was a big hiatus over the last 15 years or so, when I devoted much more time to writing. I started doing some art again a year ago, inspired by the Urban Sketchers, and my own yearning to get away form the computer and back to working with my hands. I was very rusty and somewhat tentative, and not really willing to start where I had left off either. So it's been interesting. I've posted a lot more of my work, both old and new, on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46088325@N02/ and it's also organized her on the blog under the categories of Drawing, Painting, Making Stuff, etc.

...the encouragement matters, no matter how long we've been at it. Heading out to the park with my sketchbook soon!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.