Time for Spring
March is such a tease. One day it’s 50-F degrees and you’re outside with jacket unbuttoned. The next, there is seven inches of snow on the ground and you’re scraping ice off the windshield…again. Daylight lengthens, blackbirds reappear, but that’s pretty much it for evidence of a changing season. What really shifts in March is the anticipation. You’re closer to spring now. You know that soon salamanders will be moving to breeding ponds, that the woodcock will wing its way to the neighbor’s field, that you’ll find skunk cabbage opening along the stream when the snow melts. And it’s all worth the wait.
Tips & Techniques– This piece was inspired by Welsh explorer-artist Olivia Tonge (1858-1949). At age 50, Tonge set off alone on multiyear trips to explore India and Pakistan. She filled 16 sketchbooks with an assortment of birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and plants, juxtaposed with jewelry, food, people, and cultural objects. My takeaway is not to shy away from including a variety of subjects in your sketchbook. Paint what strikes you, especially if you are traveling! Push yourself to paint different textures and arrange different elements on a page. You’ll learn and improve your skills when you do and you’ll come away with an engaging record of your experiences.