Drawn from the Sea

Isn’t it amazing that a simple chemical compound, calcium carbonate, can create so much? It forms the hard outer shells of mollusks, who spin it into a myriad of forms and colors. As mollusks develop, they absorb salt and chemicals from sea water and secrete proteins and calcium carbonate, which hardens on the outside of their bodies, creating a hard shell. Mollusks continue to grow their shells as they age, adding layers year by year. When they die, they leave behind their beautiful creations, small gifts from a vast and mysterious ocean. Tips… Read More

Out of Season

Usually, I would bring you beach finds in summer, when freshly found and still holding a hint of sea and salt air. But here they are in November, a collection of small treasures that I pulled out for my latest Drawn to Nature class. I used them to illustrate ways to record discoveries and layout sketchbook pages when out exploring. Like a puzzle whose picture is revealed only when complete, these types of pages are built piece by piece and end up capturing a particular place or moment in time. So, though… Read More

A Day at the Beach

When March feels like January and the urge to go outside and sketch no longer seems sane, I’m in trouble. I could use a change of scenery and fresh artistic inspiration, but, alas, there’s nowhere to go. So I’ve turned to my collection of beach finds to take me to warmer places and sunnier days. I like imagining whelks and horseshoe crabs crawling on sandy bottomed shores and blue mussels, sea stars, and urchins crammed into rocky cervices. Out there in the Atlantic, summer is just a dream away.    Tips and… Read More