As the Vernal Equinox draws tantalizingly close, the birds can sense the coming change. Already, their calls are more raucous in the mornings — their numbers are increased on branches excited for above-zero days and equalized day and night.
Where we live, we can’t really count on true Spring weather until later in April but like the birds, our eyes are widening and we stretch ourselves that much closer to the morning sunshine as we urge on the change.
BONUS: I was really happy with this drawing and thought I would try offering some prints, cards, and iPhone skins.Check out our Society6 shop
This post is the second in the “Drawing from Nature” series by Davin Risk. All birds have sprung purely from the imagination and any similarity to true species is entirely accidental.
Hello, and welcome to the start of something a bit different here on You Grow Girl.
First off, don’t be alarmed, this is not Gayla typing these words… this is Gayla’s partner Davin. I lurk around behind the scenes most the time assisting with the design and technical upkeep of the site.
Gayla has occasionally mentioned the weekly “Arts & Crafts” nights we instituted in our home. Those nights give us both a chance to create and play with materials, styles, and concepts. We just have fun exploring new things or adding to existing projects. For me, this has been a way to clean off rusty drawing skills. [He says, "rusty" but Davin is responsible for all of the illustrations, background patterns, and decorative elements in two of my books. - Gayla]
Recently, I’ve been drawing birds — birds that just spring from my pencil, pen, imagination without extreme regard for species or proper bird anatomy — Imaginary Birds I have dubbed them.
Each week, I’ll be posting a new drawing to You Grow Girl. To begin with, the birds will be the stars but I will occasionally draw a plant or two. I hope you’ll enjoy the diversion.
Last summer I resolved to try and make further use of the plants that I grow by employing them as natural textile dyes. When their season was through, I did a few experiments, dying various fabric scraps with the burgundy leaves and immature blooms of the large false roselle plants I had grown that year. Unfortunately, time quickly slipped through my fingers and the other plans I had in mind did not come to fruition.
This winter I have made a dramatic shift back to embroidery and my brain is consumed with thread. Recently, in preparation for the growing season, I have returned to experimentation, but this time I am dyeing threads rather than fabric.
Davin surprised me with this drawing on our kitchen chalkboard this morning.
I know that some of you in the warmer regions have already started your tomato seeds. Around here I still have a month(ish) to go before I will start my first batch of dwarf varieties.
Which varieties are you growing or planning to grow this year?
I needed a bookmark, so I made one. Random scraps of paper and bus transfers do the work of marking my place in a book, but they are not special. They just are.
I knew it had to be botanical, because… exhibit a thru z… and it was a pressed leaf that provided the inspiration. I often slip leaves into books only to discover them months or years later. This is why I always flip through the pages before I get rid of a book. They sometimes hold more secrets beyond the words that are written inside.
In this case it was a leaf from a tulip tree leaf (Liriodendron tulipifera) that I picked up on a walk last fall. The tulip tree is a North Eastern native that is gaining popularity around here. The leaves are simple and elegant and they turn a beautiful golden yellow in the fall. I find I want to take them all home.
I stitched my bookmark onto a piece of scrap cotton. It is 2″ X 6″ but I realize in hindsight that 8″ would have been a nicer length. The leaf was yellow when I put it into the book but had browned with age. I used variegated thread to represent this colour shift, but any solid colour will work, too.