Enough Already!

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the near daily rain we’d been experiencing in Upstate New York, which had been a boon to mushroom growth but not much else. Since then, it’s been more of the same: rain, humidity, and mushrooms. I want to stop sketching them, I really do. But with more colors and varieties sprouting by the day, I just can’t seem to stop. When opportunity arises, I find myself wandering the grove of oaks on our property, looking for the latest species to emerge, and adding them to my sketchbook. So enough already—I promise I’ll try harder—and look to my garden or what’s happening along the roadside in the weeks ahead. But first…more mushrooms.

Tips and Techniques– Experiment with different approaches to the same subject. Initially, I wanted to do a deep dive into each mushroom species so that I could try to identify and learn more about them. But with so many varieties coming on, I lost the ability to do spore prints and keep up with the research. Instead, I decided to just get them on the page using pencil and watercolor and ink and watercolor. I thought about doing a mushroom map to diagram my route, but then I discovered the massive bolete and ran out of space.

32 Comments on “Enough Already!

  1. Oh dear Jean! Please don’t stop drawing and painting mushrooms. That’s the one thing missing (well, that and slugs), missing in our dry deserts of the southwest. I’m truly enjoying each and every one. You are so lucky to have so many to choose from! Carry on, and I’ll try to send you a bit of arid air!

  2. I love these…what a great record of a rainy year! I find your style very inspiring; I have a feeling you could just paint the slugs and I’d be charmed, lol. Luckily the mushrooms are even better.

    • Thanks Cathy- I do think the slugs add a little something, though I am not particularly partial to them, especially when they are on my desk. But the mushrooms are fun to do– thanks for your appreciation!

    • Thanks– I really want to capture them all and have a record from year to year. I have a sketchbook from three years ago several pages from another mushroom explosion from under the same trees. I recorded several varieties then that have not appeared this year (yet!).

  3. Your perseverance has definitely paid off, Jean! You have a bounty of beautiful and interesting page heres. Question: How do you do a spore print? Do you just draw what you see or do you actually make a print?

    • Hi Susan- You make a spore print using the top of the mushroom. I cut the stem off and put it on a piece of heavy white paper overnight. The spores released from the gills make an impression on the paper. The color of the spores (white, cream, brown, yellow…) are very important in identifying what type of mushroom it is. My field guides begins with the color of the spores and goes from there, so without that piece of information, I’m at a loss.

      • That’s so interesting! Thanks for the info!

  4. What fabulous mushrooms! Am envious as ever as I love looking for edibles – looks as if you have some but would have to see in person
    Hope rain let’s off soon and sends some west

    • Hi Patti– I am not a mushroom eater, but some of these must be edible. There are so many cautions in mushroom field guides about eating wild mushrooms…it’s probably good that I have no interest in sampling them. But I wish I could share them with you. It is really amazing to watch new ones coming up every day.

  5. Always love scouting for mushrooms. Always fun to find a “new” one. Love these. Try to stay dry.

    • Thanks Erica. The mushroom bloom appears to be slowing as we get some dryer weather. I’m glad I recorded so many, and if there is another bloom, I’m sure I’ll be back out looking.

  6. Silent miracles…

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  7. What fun! Sorry, I’m sure I’d be sick of the rain too, and you KNOW I wish you could send some our way. But your sense of humor – the huge Bloete – makes that spread a real gem. Putting it upside-down was such a good idea. The white space around each page seems to enhance those subtle colors . Wonderful stuff, Jean. I hope you have sun by now.

    • Ha! Actually, it’s raining again at the moment and a field of orange-tan mushrooms has sprouted under the oaks this week. I haven’t had time for them, alas! Thanks for always leaving such engaging comments!!

  8. We’ve got the rain, I will take your humidity. I once did an article on how mushrooms grow. Fascinating and it would be a great horror book.

    • I can understand the horror reference. When mushrooms start to disintegrate they can be pretty gross. I left two caps inside on my porch and forgot about them for a week. Found them liquified. Yuk!

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