Daffodils and robins

The weather is slowly warming up in the garden. Today and tomorrow are pushing 60°F and 70ºF. We did have a thick mat of snow for Sunday, but once the sun came out that quickly disappeared.

Garden journal 021718As I walked around the yard on Saturday, everywhere I looked I could see daffodils pushing up through the garden debris. We grow a lot of daffodils. Once they start to show color in their buds I cut them by the handful to bring inside. I will leave a few flowers from each clump to enjoy in the yard, but having fresh cut flowers inside is so nice.

Garden journal 021818I had a chance Sunday to fire up the grill, 45°F is grilling weather for me. While I was out there I could hear several robins in the neighborhood trees. Every week more and more birds are arriving. I still haven’t seen the wrens that take up residence in our yard in the summer, but I think it’s still a bit too cold for them.

Garden journal 021918The maple trees are also starting to flower. Another welcome sight of spring. The branches are becoming covered in clusters of red buds. Even from a distance you can see the trees getting a red hue to them.

I’ve always enjoyed nature and watching it change season to season. But since I’ve started on this daily visual garden journal I am seeing so much more. I find myself looking up at the trees and down at the dirt all the time. Listening to the sounds, smelling the air. Really focusing on the physical world around me. With this world becoming more and more attached to devices, I really hope that by me sharing these images and thoughts someone will stop, even for a minute, and just look at the world outside. There is so much more than what we hold in our hands. Please enjoy it.

That’s all the rambles for today – thank you – Erik

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Spring is slowly coming to the garden

This has been a wild week for weather in our garden. Tuesday morning the temperature was 16°F, by Thursday morning it was 49°F. This morning it’s a more seasonal 37°F.

I’ve started using AD Markers again with my sketching. I love these markers, best out there in my opinion. They do bleed through the Landland paper, but markers bleed through everything. It just means I’ll be buying more of these little sketchbooks.

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Everyday that I get to go outside I feel better. Just smelling the dirt and hearing the sounds is so nice. This morning I could hear several song birds. Knowing they have returned to the yard is a real treat, a nice change of pace from the usual chatter of the sparrows. Nothing against the sparrows, they are good for keeping the bug population in check, but they aren’t my favorite bird in the yard.

wren 021318This is a quick wren I drew over lunch. I keep a limited number of colored pencils in my pencil bag, I think just this blue and green actually. Mixing these with the graphite pencil and pen gives me just enough color variety to keep it a bit fresh. I could invest in another pencil bag, but my messenger bag is already heavy enough.

That’s all for today, thanks for taking the time to read my rambles…Erik

 

 

 

The garden journal and a new project

The daily garden journal continues. To be honest I really picked a challenging time of year to start a garden journal. It’s cold, snowy, and not a lot is happening in the garden. But I also enjoy the challenge that adds. I’ve been using a variety of fiber tip pens and fountain pens for my drawings. The fountain pens are great when I’m using colored ink, but the fiber tip pens are my first choice for black lines. The Faber-Castell PITT pens have always been my favorite. Over the years I have tried several different brands and styles of fountain pens, but I keep coming back the Preppy pens from Platinum. The $3.00 price on these pens is also hard to beat.

020518 begonia020618 fresh snowfall020718 morning tea020818 redbud020918 cut flowers021018 wisteria arbor

I am now using a sketchbook from Landland, I’ll go over the details for this switch in a future post. But this is a great little sketchbook!

 

For several years I have been drawing an alter ego in various shapes and styles. I’ve named him Stan. I wanted to include a female companion for Stan, but I haven’t been able to come up with a figure I was really happy with. So Stan has a little bird. That’s his companion through life.

020618 stan

Stan usually isn’t this angry, but he’s rather frustrated with the current weather conditions. I’ve decided to create a weekly comic strip featuring Stan. I haven’t decided which day I’ll post Stan, but my goal is to be consistent with the posting. I am a big fan of Field Notes pocket notebooks, those will be the notebooks I will be using for The Stan Files. The size and portability of the notebooks will really help me be consistent with the comic. I also think the faint grid lines will keep things a bit more free and organic. More spontaneous.

That’s all for this post, thanks for stopping by – Erik

A new garden journal

I’ve decided to start a sketchbook/garden journal this year. Starting this during the winter is proving to be a challenge, but I if I can keep this up until spring kicks in I will be golden! I am currently using a Story Supply Co. pocket notebook for this. I love the compact size of these notebooks and the faint grid. The paper is also very friendly to fountain pens, art pens, and pencils. This allows me to use both sides of the paper without fear of anything bleeding through.

For those who want to try Story Supply Co. notebooks, or refill their stash, feel free to us this link to save 40% off your order – http://storysupplyco.refr.cc/erikdavis

I’ve also started using bottled inks with my artwork. I’m finding the colors to be much more intense, and I like that the inks work great with sketch paper and Bristol Board. I was finding the watercolor paper to be very challenging when using pens and pencils.

That’s all for today…thanks for taking the time to read my post…Erik

Zinnias and an old farm house…

I’ve put away the pens and I am now embracing loose watercolors and pencil. I used a lot of pencils in college, and I always enjoyed them. I’m not sure why I stopped using them. After trying several different brands I have settled on Blackwing pencils and the original Palomino pencils. Beautiful pencils and the best graphite I have ever used!

I am also skipping the pens with my watercolors, for now. That may change. But, I really love the challenge of painting loose. In theory it seems easy enough, bold brush strokes and minimal detail. But the challenge of telling the your story with minimal brush marks is really exciting to me.

The zinnias were cut from our garden. They are a favorite in our house for cut flowers and the great variety of colors and blooms. The old farmhouse is located just outside of town. I don’t know the history of the house, but there is something about the crumbling stone and brick walls that really intrigues me. It’s a favorite subject of mine.

Right now my watercolor paper of choice is St Cuthberts Mill Saunders Waterford cold press, the sketchbook used for the farmhouse is a Paper-Oh A5 journal.

Thanks for stopping by…Erik

Daily sketching and looking for spring

We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather this week in NW Ohio. Last weekend the temperature climbed into the mid 60s, which led to several long walks. This week has also been warm. The forecast calls for more cold and maybe a bit of snow this weekend, but we know spring is coming. Our daffodils are pushing through the dirt and standing tall, the crocus are showing some green, and the snowdrops are blooming everywhere.

 

I took some time this week to make a sketch of our empty garden containers sitting on our deck. It’s been a while since I actually enjoyed a little urban sketching. I decided to switch to my Leuchtturm1917 journal for this one. I went straight with the pen, no pencil layout, just pen. There is something exciting about going into a drawing with a pen, you can’t erase, you can’t undo, you can only keep going forward. I like that. I also took a walk out in the yard this morning and decided to capture a little clump of the snowdrops. I used the Leuchtturm1917 journal for this one too.

I’d like to spend more time working on the observation drawing, or urban sketching. It’s fun to be creative and imagine something, but it’s also a lot of fun to actually be part of your environment while your sketching.

That’s all for this post, thanks everyone…Erik