In the Tangled Mess

Somewhere in the tangled mess that was 2020, I hope you found beauty. I hope you found goodness and light. For me, it was there along the roadside, in the white-throated sparrow feeding on sumac as blustery snow began to fall. It was there in the pandemic, when people cheered for healthcare workers and children sang of hope in unison on separate video screens. It was there in the tangled mess of politics when millions of Americans voted for change. It was there in family, friends, and colleagues who pulled together to pull through. It’s not always visible on first glance, but I like to think it’s always there, somewhere, in the tangled mess.

Wishing you a beautiful Holiday Season and New Beginnings in 2021.

Tips and Techniques– When you are sketching outside, try to capture enough information to enable you to finish the sketch, even if you must take it inside. For this journal page, I began with the shape and posture of the sparrow, which flew off shortly after I started. I sketched the tangled vines for a few more minutes before the wind picked up and snow began to blow. I was hoping the bird might reappear or that the snow would let up but, alas, that was not meant to be. Fortunately, I had enough to convey the feeling of the moment even after it passed.

21 Comments on “In the Tangled Mess

  1. Beautiful sentiment, expressed very well, in words and brushstrokes.
    Your posts have been a delight over the last months, and will continue to be.
    Keep well. Best wishes.

  2. I love and echo all your sentiments about this year. I’ve been finding small notes of joy in unexpected places, and trying to recognize and appreciate them.
    And I do thank you for sharing your beautiful sketches with all of us.
    Bring on those vaccines!

  3. Not only does your painting bring joy but your words bring comfort. Thank you Jean.

  4. After a year of surgeries that kept me bed-ridden from May to September and learning to walk again from September until…still working on that, I found goodness and light in watching from the window the changes in my tiny flower garden that my husband kindly tended for me, blogs like yours that brought nature to me each week, and online gatherings, whether they be a chat with a friend or a class that inspired me to sketch again. Thank you, Jean, for another sweet glimpse of your roadside wanderings. Amen to Happy Holidays and New Beginnings! ~ SusanA

  5. What a beautiful painting and sentiment. Thank you for all the lovely artwork and inspiration during the year. You are so generous with your techniques and tips in your blog and in your classes. It has helped me get thru these difficult times.
    A happy and healthy New Year!

  6. Thank you for this wonderful picture. I love the way you are able to capture the essence of a scene and not get bogged down with detail overload.

  7. In nature you can find beauty, even in a tangled mess. Glad you made sure the bird was there. I adds life. I like this a lot.

  8. Heartfelt thanks for your lovely thoughts. Well received and needed reminders of the good and beautiful in our world. The best for you and yours this Holiday time. xoLynn

  9. Truly enjoyed your class Sketching through the Winter at the Winslow Art Center. When the rain stops I hope to get out there to try your ideas. Thanks for the that gift to us.

  10. Beautifully expressed, both in words and brush strokes. I love this piece.

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