So on Tuesday, I take my youngest, Maddie, to gymnastics at a place here in town called Flip Force. On the way into the building, I notice a patch of tangly wilderness off to the side. I had brought along my sketchbook and oil pastels. “Must see what I can do with that” ran through my head as we walked in.
Once she was settled into her class, I returned to the spot and found a very dilapidated wooden picnic table to sit on and draw. The natural area was one of those places where the mowed grass runs up to the edge and then everything else has been allowed to grow wild. A jumble of brambles, weeds, briars, tall trees, scrub trees, underbrush, etc. Even the green colors seemed “leftover” with its end-of-summer brownish tinge and not-yet-turned-color foliage.
Places like that attract me. Perhaps it’s the wildness, the untamed, unkempt life-run-rampant that entices me to untangle it in pen, paint, or pastel. I stayed long enough for two drawings: one began with a black pastel marking the outline and main tree shape. I started the other with a brown pastel, thinking it would dictate a different set of colors throughout. And it did!
I continue to realize that the best way to make sense of a tangled patch (both visually and in your life) is to draw it! Loveliness in unlikely places…