The season of Lent is not traditionally thought of as a “happy” time. It is meant to be a time of contemplation, of pulling back from areas of dependency to create longing and space for reflection. I decided to pull back from so much Instagram activity but to draw every day in my sketchbook through Lent. From March 2nd until Easter I filled two concertina sketchbooks (handmade books created with clever cuts through one large piece of paper:). As is true of all drawings I make, it is less about achieving an end product and more about the experience of being fully immersed in right where I am at any given moment. Drawing allows me to sink into a moment or event. Drawing also enables me to see more clearly the gift of my life, no matter what is going on.
I will share with you in future blog posts other gleanings from this lenten season, but for this post I will just say that there is now a fresh wind blowing sweetly in the creative garden I tend. Just as Lent seems to span the breadth of winter into spring, I too experienced a thawing out, a sprouting of dormant seeds, a happy realization of my work as a creative gardener, and renewed enthusiasm for this lifelong love of drawing in a sketchbook. Though I have never let this practice go completely, I am now re-envigorated to share my love of sketching life with you and to invite you to come along with me! I’m not certain as to all that will entail, but this is a beginning. Or perhaps simply a continuing.
I am amazed to have made over 120 sketches during Lent…from March 2nd to April 17th! This encompasses two concertina sketchbooks that were each filled on both sides. Other drawings and paintings were made in various sketchbooks, mostly in a large Ohuhu Sketchbook and then others in smaller sketchbooks designated for specific topics or mediums. Like a kid in a candy shop, I have played with watercolors, gel crayons, markers of all kinds, various pens from ball-point to calligraphy, ink, oil pastels, collaged papers, watercolor crayons, acrylic paints, watercolor markers, carbon pencils and anything really that seemed fun and free! I have also been granted a renewed love for drawing in gardens and have gone to our local Ciener Botanical Gardens as well as other area gardens to sketch and draw on site. What a gift to be able to sit in a garden and sketch the beauty around you!
These drawings are from the last week of Lent, leading up to Easter Sunday. This is the back side of the second filled concertina sketchbook and it is Somerset paper that I adore painting on. I got the idea to draw with the dropper from my bottle of waterproof. I wanted to use the photos I had taken from a walk at Reynolda Gardens on the Saturday before that last week leading up to Easter. Randy and our youngest daughter Maddie went to the Gardens to walk around the trail, down Daffodil Lane (as I call it) and into the gardens where tulips, pansies, daffodils and cherry trees were heralding the season.
I dove into the accordianed paper with ink dropper in hand and sketched out one long scene trying to capture all the lovelies that caught my eye that day. Then each day of Holy Week, I added watercolor, finally finishing the panorama view on Easter Sunday morning. Though I enjoy all my other sketches made through Lent, this long panorama series is probably my favorite.
There is so much more to share with you! I will post about it in small portions as this Lenten season has certainly been one of the happiest I can recall. It feels like what began in fog and obscurity has slowly, over time, revealed a clear bright morning. I am filled with gratitude for the open sketchbook sitting on my drawing table inviting me at this very moment to come splash a bit of color around. There’s a second drawing of tulips just waiting for me to add watercolor. Or maybe I’ll choose acrylic or oil pastels! Even the drawing itself is a surprise waiting to happen!
As always I am grateful for you dear reader! I hope you will stick around for more posts and news about gardens I’m drawing, daily life sketches, and a host of other fun things. 💖
**Visit me on Instagram to see a video of the black and white version and also a video of the completed color version!