SKETCHBOOK: Fungi

While hunting for these mushrooms, I took note of their color so that I could try to identify them once I got home. Since spore prints are sometimes important for accurate identification (I think especially for gilled mushrooms) I picked some that I found. For some reason unknown to me, however, my attempts to make spore prints from the caps were for the most part unsuccessful.

Fungi found at the Celery Farm in Allendale, NJ.

Fungi found at the Celery Farm in Allendale, NJ.

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Preserving a Butterfly

This summer I ran an Art & Nature Journaling workshop at the arboretum here in town. One (of the many!) highlights involved preserving a butterfly that one of the girls had found on the ground in a parking lot. It’s wings were stiff and closed up, so we put it between wet paper towels until it softened, then very gently spread it’s wings. We used tracing paper to hold the wings down and then secured them in place by pinning around them. We let it dry overnight. The next day when we unpinned it, the butterfly held it’s position - wings open. Beautiful. We lay it in a flat box to later be glued into for display.

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A LOOK BACK: Nature Studies

Drawing and painting from nature is one of my favorite things to do. I get so wrapped up in observing the details of the object, that the usual static in my head completely subsides. It's my personal form of meditation. 

These nature studies are from different times in my life. I painted the first (above) with india ink on rice paper while taking an art class at the Brooklyn Botanic gardens. The second is india ink as well, and the third a seedpod drawn with charcoal. Seaweed from a Cape Cod summer, india ink, and lastly, a budding branch in watercolor.