Believer in Ferns

Come back
believer in shade
believer in silence and elegance

believer in ferns
believer in patience
believer in the rain
— W.S. Merwin (Empty Water)

How good to be out in the greening woods, despite the occasional rain and still cold spring day. Good to see ferns unfurling and mayapples reaching up out of last year’s leaves and a single ruby red trillium.

Tips and Techniques– My simple tip this week is to let observation and delight drive your sketching. Go out with no agenda and see what strikes you. I was drawn in by the variety of fiddleheads when I started looking more closely at them unfurling in the woods – some hairy, some smooth, some reddish-brown, others bright yellow-green. Had I gone out with a pre-planned idea of what I wanted to paint, I might never have seen them.

28 Comments on “Believer in Ferns

  1. Lovely, Jean. I recently took a closeup photo of ‘fiddleheads’ on a trail near where I live. Without the context of the surroundings, they look other worldly. Always inspired by your pages.

  2. And good to see your post, and remember the joys of spring in the northeast – Mayapples were one of my first loves as a little girl. I was fascinated by the “umbrella” leaves. I’ve been out photographing ferns unfurling this morning, but as always, I feel a stab of guilt when I see the beauty of your drawn and watercolored versions. So nicely composed, and full of life.Your simple tip is my mantra, Jean. And thanks for the poem, so moving.

      • I barely remember the flowers – it was those crazy leaves, their super simple shape, that appealed to me. 🙂 But of course I look forward to seeing what you do with them.

  3. Ferns. So peaceful. I enjoy sketching them as well. I’ve decorated with them too. This made me smile. They’re beautiful.

  4. Missed this one. I try to eat fiddleheads once a year. I don’t love them, but they are spring.

  5. Hi, Jean. I tried emailing you, but I will try here, too. I love this piece and would like your permission to use a piece of it for a church bulletin cover. Second, I wonder if I could purchase a print of the entire piece. I look forward to your response. Thank you

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