Monday, October 24, 2022

The Sycamore Tree

And yet I know that hope is not a default, it is a choice, it is daily intention and action. 

Writing a better story is not a given, it is an intention,

 it is how we lean into the next great turning.

Carrie Newcomer

The Sycamore Tree to the east of our apartment in Oakwood University Woods is something of a "symbol" of the connection to nature that our community is committed to.  Although the campus contains 9 acres of oaks woodland forest through which we all love to amble regularly in all seasons of the year...this lone tree sits by itself as a sort of "welcome place holder" to the entry way to that area.  It is not brightly colored in fall...but it turns lovely subtle combination of gold, yellow, burnt sienna, and raw sienna each October.   The branches appear mottled colors of olive, browns, and grays.  Hanging from the branches in profusion are the seed pods of the tree (often called a Buttonwood Tree because of the pods).  They are perfectly round soft brown balls about the size of a ping pong ball.  The pods remain on the tree year round...dropping during the spring and summer as new pods appear so that the tree is never without them.  In winter, as you'll soon see, the tree looks as if it's been decorated with them.  Each pod snowcapped.  

Those of us who live in the Oaks at one end of the campus and especially those of us facing east...have come to embrace the tree as a an old friend.  Indeed in our apartment on the 4th floor it almost completely fills the entire window giving our apartment the name "The Sycamore Tree House".  Indeed we feel that we are nestled up in the branches.  When we have a stiff wind we almost get sea sick from the illusion of being tossed about!  

I've challenged myself to sketch the tree in various seasons and in various mediums this year.  (An early resolution).  Above is watercolor and ink.  Below is multi media crayon, ink, watercolor pencil, on toned paper.  


Saturday, October 15, 2022

Tangling Time this Fall


October and it's time for INKTOBER.

It is supposed to be done one day at a time through October.  But since I had Covid in September I finished it that month!  11 x 15

Here I am at Olbrich Gardens last weekend teaching 15 people how to Zentangle®.
They have a good set up there.  The only issue was the sound system was not working well.  
But we got through it.  

A dozen of the participants were brave enough to put their tiles up for a photo. I was very proud of their work.