Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: October 6, 2019
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 15

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Susan, the hibiscus is so lovely and accurate that in my mind I am seeing it in color! My mother-in-law loved these plants and for years I had one of them in our bedroom. I see those flowers in your drawing. Cheers, Laurie
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Well this was definitely interesting! In looking back at the gesture drawings made from the videos I'm pleasantly surprised to see they actually bear some faint resemblances to what I was looking at. Also noticed that in an effort to focus on the quickness of the  gesture, the size of my drawings are huge, often filling the page and all mostly much larger than the size in the videos relative to the full screen. Having 2 minutes to gesturize the Pintail Duck was a luxury and yielded satisfying sketches because I was able to capture multiple positions. On the other hand, the Red Foxes were moving too quickly for me to sketch much although, yet again as I look now at the drawings there is more there than I initially realized. Absolutely the best part was going outside to our deck and gesturizing the birds that came and went at our feeder, plus some birds hanging out in the bushes and trees, and a squirrel or two on the ground. Perhaps because Liz shared her bird feeder page with us, I found it easier to make my sketches smaller and fit lots of gestures for multiple birds on two pages. As with so many other things in life, it's Practice, Practice, Practice! Because I am not in a hurry at the bird feeder, being quite content to sit and wait and watch, when a bird alights on the feeder the gesture drawing gives me an opportunity to appreciate the portion of the bird that is being sketched; it lets me hone in on the uniqueness or specifics of the bird. Those observations might not make it into the sketch (my eye-hand reaction is nowhere near as quick as it needs to be to gesturize) but they make it into my visual appreciation.
  • Laurie
    Participant
    This was an *interesting* exercise. Of my nine blind counter drawings, the Eastern Red-spotted Newt most resembled the photo while the other drawings (four Green-tailed Sunbird, two Bird of Paradise and two Springbok) were each similar to themselves but not so much to their photos. (Consistency between same items, but not to the originals!) On the final drawing (of the second Springbok) I experimented with a different hold for the pencil. Rather than holding like I was writing, with the pencil on an angle, I held it more upright and with a loose grasp. This change had a positive impact, with the looser grasp letting the pencil flow more easily. The body was 'okay' though the head is still funky, to say the least! Overall, a fun exercise, as I took Liz's words to heart and didn't mind the outcome but rather focused on the process. In reflecting, my attention seems stronger, however, when I am able to look at the paper because I can compare the drawing with the object and make both mental and actual changes, thus cementing my concentration. With that said, I have yet to try this outdoors, and perhaps my blind contour drawing concentration will be more intent in the field, just because it *is* in the field and not an exercise done in the comfort of my home. Am curious to see if this proves true!
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Kevin, I see a career as a cartoonist in your future! Cheers, Laurie
  • Laurie
    Participant
    GrassComparisonThis was my first comparison study and I enjoyed the experience. No doubt, even though my fingers felt warm upon starting, had they not cooled off 30 minutes later then I would still be outdoors sketching and observing. This comparison study of grasses reminded me that comparing and contrasting can be a highly effective way to learn about something. The questions that arose are mainly based around the labeling of parts - flowers, stalks, stems, leaves, grass - I do not know what to properly name each part of the grasses. Had my fingers not gotten cold, I would have mustered the umph to draw a close up of each grass's flowers. They have similarities but are not the same. I like sketching what I see, labeling parts and then using the drawing and my observations to prompt my words. This lets me practice the skill - drawing - that I'm trying to learn. I incorporated numerical data, which likely would not have happened if this exercise had been done without seeing Liz's modeling it in her example. Certainly, the use of numerical data adds credence to a scientific observation, while also enhancing the descriptiveness of what is being viewed. FYI I am thoroughly enjoying myself in this course! I set aside time each weekend to do one or two parts of a chapter, not wanting to rush on any given day and hoping to make this class last well into December. Thank you Liz and Bird Academy!
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Hi Elizabeth, your journal page resonates! I appreciate the layout you used, wrapping your beautiful printing around the images, and I can sense the water in the vase. Your use of shading, darker and lighter lines, and mark making reminds me to not be shy in the pressure I apply to the pencil. Thank you for sharing your page. Cheers, Laurie
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Karen, your rendering of the pine cone has me smiling, as it seems to perfectly encapsulate not only the object itself but also the smells and evocation of this time of year. Lovely! Cheers, Laurie
  • Laurie
    Participant
    I do not yet have any journal sketches that reflect one of the themes. I do, though, notice the natural world on morning and afternoon walks with my husband, and often when looking out my kitchen window or from our back deck. Our home abuts a tidal salt marsh that is protected as a nature preserve. Our walks usually take us on a path through the preserve or on a quiet road along side a mill pond that drains to Long Island Sound. There is much to observe, especially when we slow down and make the time to inhale our surroundings. Thursday morning I noticed close to one hundred ducks swimming in the Mill Pond, almost all of them moving in the same direction. Gradually, a bunch would turn 180 degrees and ascend in flight. Maybe they were swimming with the tide, or preparing for flight by swimming in one direction to give themselves enough of a runway for taking off in the other direction. And that had me wondering if there is any intentional synchronicity to floating en masse? Knowing that they do not ride the currents as other water fowl do, does wind direction impact how ducks prepare for flight? What is the relationship of this large group of ducks to one another? What is the deal with duck families? At the start of our walk, while still in our neighborhood, we passed a tree whose branches formed an almost perfect bowl. The top half of the tree was barren of leaves; the bottom half had yellow hued leaves. I wondered if the weather impacts the canopy first because it is the most exposed. How does temperature and other weather impact the location and rate of leaf fall? Stopping to pause, observe and wonder is yoga for my senses and mind, and ultimately for my body. I have always stopped to pause and observe; adding wonder to the mixture gets my thinking juices going. And when I begin to bring my journal with me those moments will be all encompassing.
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Second page of my Sit Spot. I quite enjoyed this activity, spending 30 minutes on our back deck taking in the nature preserve that abuts our backyard. The first page of my Sit Spot is all text, noting what I heard, saw and felt on my face (it was chilly and the temperature felt as though it was dropping as the clouds meandered by and the sun traversed the sky.) With page two I focused on what was on our deck, and found myself entranced by a pot of flowers that still had some blooms, despite several evenings of temperatures in the 30s. I felt most content drawing rather than writing, which makes me smile. :-) SitSpot
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Your water color reminds me of children's books;  a few woodland characters surely live nearby and come to nibble, nestle or romp! In any case, I find your drawing quite delightful and soothing.
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Thoroughly enjoyed this exercise as it was satisfying to see recognizable objects appear on the page, even with "fluid" proportions (especially on the bathroom sink)! Started to incorporate stippling in the banana and found I need reminders that there are mark making techniques beyond various hatchings. Both the Squint technique and Chiaroscuro are quite helpful for illustrating dimensionality. Finally, in looking back at all my exercises since day 1 of this class, I notice my drawings expand to fill a large part of the page. What I'd like to work on – how to draw proportion more accurately; seeing if I can make my drawings smaller; reminding myself before taking pen to paper that there are multiple mark making techniques. For the record, I am having FUN and feeling like my brain, eyes and hand are (re)learning to communicate with one another when it comes to observing and translating those observations to paper. banana bathroomSink
  • Laurie
    Participant
    YellowWarbler1 I LOVED doing this exercise! A focused respite on a Friday afternoon. :-) Responses to the prompts are in my sketch. Ahhhh, the satisfied sound at the end of what might have been 30 or 40 minutes of sketching.
    in reply to: Jump Right in! #646306
  • Laurie
    Participant
    Hi, I live just northeast of New York City. INSPIRATION. Our backyard abuts a salt marsh and creek, and we are treated to visits from osprey, hawks, a multitude of birds (especially in winter at our feeder), water fowl and egrets. This, coupled with my desire to document the birds at the feeder besides just keeping a bird list, is what appeals to me about nature journaling. About 10 years ago I took a weeklong Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain workshop in the City (plus two follow up weekend workshops). From these experiences I (re)learned that I could draw, and thoroughly thrived on the process of making sketches and drawings. Because I know IT IS  POSSIBLE, my other inspiration for nature journaling is to get back to making art and taking the time to observe life around me. JOURNAL APPROACHES. I liked all of the journals that were highlighted in the video. Artistically the last one wowed the heck out of me with the stunning art. Organizationally the first one meshes with my way of thinking. Whenever my husband and I take a day trip or travel, I often combine photos of the day with writing, somewhat like a travel journal, and always done so we have a memory of the outing, plus it brightens my day to reread an entry during the dark days of winter. I appreciated the drawing tips of the gentleman who talked about seeing birds as compilations of shapes. For me this will make it easier to begin sketching, as I will not focus on the need to "get it right" but rather on the shapes I see. OTHER JOURNALING IDEAS. I read all the entries prior to sharing mine, and one idea that appealed was a suggestion to include bits and pieces of what might be found nearby, such as a feather or a twig. I intend to take my journal with me on day trips and travels and use it not just for nature journaling but also as an impetus to slow down, observe and journal whatever strikes my fancy. Lastly, this is a birthday present (at my request :-)) and part of what inspired me was the down-to-earth approach of Liz that came across so clearly in all the videos I watched prior to signing up! Cheers, Laurie
  • Laurie
    Participant

    @Maidie Hi Heather and Maidie, Happy Birthday to you both! This course is also a gift for my birthday :-) After receiving the emails over several days I finally made the decision and let my husband know it would be the perfect gift. So delighted to be "here" and to jump in! Cheers, Laurie

  • Laurie
    Participant
    Hi Phyllis, I hadn't thought of including objects to collage but I quite like your suggestion. It's not unlike collecting leaves to flatten between the pages of books, then forgetting about them till months later when they meet me at the turn of a page. Only with the nature journal I hope to be referring to it more often than months apart! Cheers, Laurie
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)