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

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

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

Bird on a Budget

Drawing from Nature: Bird on a Budget

I kept talking Gayla’s ear off about drawing in these hardcover engineering log books I remembered from highschool physics class. Something about drawing on top of those thin blue/green grids pulled at some aesthetic urge in me. This week she found the next best thing in a thrift store, an old bound Blueline ledger. Above

Vernal Harginger

Drawing from Nature: Vernal Harbinger

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

Vivid Bird

Drawing from Nature: Vivid Bird

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

Photo by Davin Risk: All Rights Reserved

Tell More Stories: Scenes from the Atlanta Botanical Garden

All photos in this post were taken by Davin Risk These first two photos show a restricted access carnivorous plant room at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I found out later that I could have got a tour had I only asked! I am tackling my New Year’s Resolution early. Doomsday predictors believe we only have

Itassi driveway

A Beautiful Nuisance

Guest post by Davin Risk I am asked now and again if “I am a gardener too” and my answer is an invariably unsure, “Well, yes and no, I help.” As Gayla’s partner I am often by her side in gardens and a certain level of gardening knowledge has seeped into my brain via osmosis.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Essence Fragile

We’ve finally had all of the film from our Caribbean trip developed and I now have the arduous task of scanning it all before the end of September (27th), when I will be giving a presentation, here in Toronto, of some of the botanical images. I took this photo while on a tour of an

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