These pinkies are from a sketch crawl (aka "skrawl") with my art pal, Suzanne Kelsey, to Reiman Gardens last February during the annual Orchid Fest. With this sketch comes a memory of not just the mass of blossoms we enjoyed that day but of the warmth of the conservatory mid-winter and how we both sat sketching lines and sloshing paint while we caught up with the happenings of each other's lives. We've been "skrawling" like this for well over a decade in Iowa. She's relocating to the west coast soon but we are already conspiring to skrawl in the San Francisco area. So although our outings in Iowa are on hold for now, I'm looking forward to collaborating with her on a project or two in the years ahead. In the meantime, I'll be watching her blog to keep up with her latest adventures in life and in art. Here's the link if you'd like to check out her zingy, colorful artwork for your self. You'll soon learn that inspired by "a white-haired, bandana-wearing woman in her sixties" pursuing an MFA in painting, Suzanne challenged herself to follow suit (sans MFA) and is teaching herself to paint. And in turn, is inspiring me on this creative path of art learning that I am also on.
I had the pleasure of plant-sitting for my friend Ellen earlier this year. Before heading southwest for the winter, she dropped off the most remarkable Christmas cactus and the most unremarkable pot of dirt which I was told contained an amaryllis bulb. I enjoyed sketching the cactus almost immediately. The bulb, on the other hand, mostly hung out in a cool, dark basement room where I watched the terra-cotta pot (for months) until, in her words, it stuck it's tongue out at me (through the soil). I then brought it upstairs, gave it a drink and boom. hello, amaryllis.