Wind Fall

It’s apple season here in New York; the time for picking apples and drinking cider and making pies. But for sketching, I prefer to leave the perfect apples for others and seek out wild and wind fallen fruit. Like Thoreau, I find almost all wild apples handsome. They are beautiful not in spite of their misshapen and knotted appearance, but because of it.

I recently had the honor of being interviewed by Bethan Burton for an episode of the Journaling with Nature podcast. We talk about my approach to sketching, my love of subjects that are often overlooked, and about my book, The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook. Everyone should be interviewed by someone as sweet as Bethan. Her soft Australian accent and ability to put you at ease makes the conversation flow and leave you feeling like you’ve gained a friend.

Give a listen here: or search for Journaling With Nature wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find it on Apple, Google, and Spotify. 

17 Comments on “Wind Fall

  1. I listened to the podcast this morning. It was wonderful and inspiring! Thank you both.

  2. I enjoyed the podcast Jean. Especially when you mentioned critique of one’s work and how art is about practice. That is what Stan Maltzman told me when I remarked on his talent. He said, “just keep doing it Dawn, that’s all it is.”
    The apples and Thoreau are quite a combination. When we moved here 8 years ago, there was an old apple tree in the hedgerow. It was a beautiful old tree and produced apples much like those in your painting. They were fine tasting.

    • Ah– The wisdom of Stan Maltzman! If we live til 90 we may catch up with Stan. There are many orchards around here– some cultivated and many gone wild. These apples were from my yard, but there is more to explore.

  3. Did so enjoy this podcast and hearing you tell what provided stimulus for you along the way. I look forward to being with you creating bird nests at Winslow AC in a few weeks. Treasure what I learned from you a few months back in the journaling class. You provide a ray of sunshine in these gloomy times

  4. Shriveled, chipped imperfect or not. I love that that’s what you look for. There’s beauty in it all and I like that you present it in your art.

  5. Finally I found the time today, to listen to the podcast and enjoyed it very much! Thanks for that! I will listen to the other episodes too! So inspiring and so many great lessons and tipps inside!

  6. Congratulations, Jean, I only wish I could have seen you on camera in your studio. 😉 Bethan does have a soothing, pleasant voice – and so do you. I’m going to have to return to finish listening. And the painting – I love the sapsucker detail! ‘Sapsucker staccato’ makes me smile.

  7. This is such a lovely painting – the richness of autumn colouring, and the quote is perfect! Like you, I like the imperfect shapes, the character that this gives to all sorts of finds. I have just listened to the podcast, it was great, a lovely insight into you and your creative processes!

  8. Another wonderful composition. The Thoreau quote is lovely. Your observation and rendering of the apples is terrific. (I’m running out of superlatives)

    Have you read Michael Pollan’s book, “Botany of Desire”? This sketch reminded me of the chapter on apples. Worth reading.

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