Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #6: Landscapes

I’m thinking about landscapes this week as I prepare to go on a roadtrip through two — possibly three (we’ll see how far we get) North American deserts. I’ve always been drawn to the desert. When I think of this landscape I think of big skies, stars that touch the ground, magic, and grit. Perhaps

Herbaria May15 2013

Herbaria (May 15, 2013): One Year Later

Before I talk about the project I wanted to mention the awkward image sizes that are appearing on the site. We are in the process of a redesign and will be using larger photos in the future. I plan to post at a larger size from here on out, but it will be a bit

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #5: Listen

One rainy Saturday morning six years ago I was kicked out of my apartment while a camera crew was there filming an interview with Davin. With nothing to do and no real direction, I found myself headed towards my community garden plot, which was then just a few blocks away. The garden was (and still

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #4: Inspiration and Influence

The Oxford dictionary defines a mentor as, “an experienced and trusted adviser” and a muse as “…the source of inspiration for a creative artist.” Many gardeners have someone in their life, be it a family member, close friend, colleague, or a public figure to whom they have looked for gardening guidance, knowledge, inspiration, and/or influence.

Blackbird Floral Ring

Drawing from Nature: Blackbird Floral Ring

This dark fellow was drawn last week using the back of another scrap of brittle old wallpaper. Sometimes when I sit down I put all my attention into one drawing and other nights a few come out rapidly in succession. This was drawn in about a minute after finishing the larger patterned wallpaper bird. I

Wallpaper BIrd

Drawing from Nature: Wallpaper Bird

Yesterday Gayla and I had a rewarding day doing gardening and garden-related errands. As the weather did its current norm — leap-frogging between glorious and tragic — we cut into soil, positioned and repositioned rocks, added and moved plants, decided then undecided, and generally experimented. This is the season you can do that sort of

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #3: Ch-Ch-Changes

Sometimes, when I look back on the photos I take in my garden, I can hardly believe how much transpires within a single growing season. In the springtime I can see the pathways between beds and most of my plants are just a few inches tall. Everything is exposed. By the end of the growing

Star Fisher

Drawing from Nature: Star Fisher

I thought I would talk a bit about tools and process. For me, making these drawing is a mixed emotional and technical exercise. When I began spontaneously drawing these made up birds, I made something of a promise to myself that I wouldn’t be too precious about the tools or paper I used, and that

Blue Bird

Drawing from Nature: Blue Bird, Happiness

A day belated simple blue bird… The birds I have posted here so far with Gayla’s invitation have been calls for Spring. As of today, while Winter’s legacy does still linger in crusty countryside ditch snowbanks and the occasional flurry of odd styrofoam-like snow pellets, many signs of Spring are happily appearing. The scents and

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #2: Dream Garden

“Memory is a gardeners real palette; memory as it summons up the past, memory as it shapes the present, memory as it dictates the future.” – from My Garden (Book) by Jamaica Kincaid Hello writers. Our first writing prompt was meant to jog memory and take us back to our beginnings (or somewhere nearish), back

Dollar Store Dove

Drawing from Nature: Dollar Store Dove

Happy Friday! Say hello to another brashly tinted bird staring steadfast into the crocus-hued days of Spring. This week’s bird comes by the way of the dollar store. Looking at my friend Aaron’s sketchbook I asked him about some bright (bright!) washes of colour he had laid down and was shocked to hear he had

Bird in a thicket

Drawing from Nature: Bird in a Thicket

I felt myself applying the colour to this bird heavily and vigorously as it came to life. I grabbed and scrubbed with the most vibrant pencils I had at hand muttering “[expletive] Winter” while trying to drive warmth into the paper. A lot of us are there right now. We understand and respect that Nature

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