So Many Seeds

My yard is littered with walnuts, the driveway with acorns, the side yard with sugar maple keys. My desk, too, is nearly taken over by tree seeds of all shapes and sizes and in various states of decay. I have been collecting them for the past few weeks in order to make this painting. Collection pages are so much fun to do. Whether seeds or mushrooms or amphibians or moths, I enjoy learning about each species and about the group as a whole. And I enjoy the challenge of making the individual parts come together on paper. This piece is nearly done, but for labeling each of the tree seeds. What script to use is my final decision— as is figuring out what those three wiry balls on the right are (I know the rest—do you?)

25 Comments on “So Many Seeds

  1. This is lovely! Im sure whichever font you use, the end result will be fabulous. Please be sure to share the finished product ( as well as what those wiry things are called, should you find out!)

    • Thanks Denise. I’m working on several pieces that will require the same font, so I’m waiting until the series is done to decide. It was hard for me not to add that final element now.

  2. Hi Jean, are they Hazelnut seed pods? Just a guess! Love your collection! I have been collecting and printing leaves on my Gelli-plate. So fun to explore nature! Your art is fabulous as always!! 🍁🍂💕

  3. You inspire me with every post. Those wiry things are the fruit of the sweet gum tree.

    • Hi Jeannie- Sweet gum is the closest match I could find, too. But, I thought sweet gum seeds were more pointed and hard than these and I don’t know whether they come connected like this. Do you? I collected these in southern California and I can’t go back to the tree for more information.

  4. We have Buttonbush here in Michigan which looks a lot like that now. Often grows near water. I see it most on a path next to stream where I like to hike. Round white hairy balls of tiny flowers in summer. Love your “collections” so much! Are you going to “collect” all your collections and make a book out of them? I’d like to pre-order now!

    • Thanks Mary- I know the buttonbush, but don’t think this is it. I suspect it is a non-native species, which is why I’m having trouble identifying it. Glad you like the collection! I am, in fact, working on collecting a few things…details to come!

  5. I shall be very interested to learn what some of these are. Friends know I’m introverted in such things and present me examples from their travels but I don’t recognise them. I see some of them on your page. I really like these seasonal pages.

    • Mair- I started learning trees back in college. I just thought I should know what different ones were beside the obvious. On this page (left): Northern catalpa, walnut, maple, basswood, hazelnut, bitternut, shagbark hickory; (right): red oak, California live oak, hop hornbeam, dogwood, jacarunda, eucalyptus, and unidentified.

  6. Absolutely gorgeous. Just did a preschool outreach at One Love Preschool on: Seeds! We all had a blast. Read them a fun kid’s book that I think you would really enjoy the illustrations of: A Seed is Sleepy. (Illus. by Sylvia Long).

  7. Wonderful, Jean! Your style is exquisite. I was guessing sweet gum also.
    I have done similar “collections” only they have been in small accordion books. Like a collection of “pods”. I would show you except everything is packed away in WA while I travel in my RV. We are spending the winter in Florida.
    Are you working on a hot press watercolor paper? Or Bristol paper? It’s drawn in and ink and then w/c is added?
    It is ALWAYS a treat to see you email in my inbox!!

    • Thanks! I did this on Fluid 100 hot press 140lb, ink first, then watercolor. ‘‘Tis the season for nature artists to work with seeds and I’ve been seeing other pieces on seeds on Instagram lately. It’s fun to see how different people approach the same subject.

  8. What a wonderful collection, Jean. There’s so much life in it – it breathes. 🙂 Not Buttonbush, not Sweet gum, I bet you’re right – it’s something non-native. Maybe it’s nice to have one mystery plant in the bunch. 🙂

  9. How about a Sycamore? My tree book shows California sycamore with a string of fuzzy balls…& I recall seeing them around here (central CA)

    • Caroline- I think you have solved the mystery! THANK YOU! The California Sycamore looks right to me upon further inspection. As a test, I cut open one of the balls to see how it matched with some images online and it looks like a fit. That was the only seed I couldn’t identify on this page– now I can go ahead and label them all! Bravo!

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