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Naming the Ineffable

Why artists love mythology   In late 2013 I painted a series of illustrations for an herbal guide. It consisted of thirty plants painted in a traditional watercolor botanical art style. This greatly honed my botanical draftsmanship. Some of the plants I was able to locate in local nurseries to purchase and add to my own garden. Others I was able to seek out at the Berkeley Botanical Gardens. But a large number of the plants I had to forage for my specimens in my local environs. This proved to be highly instructional in teaching me to identify much of …

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Without an Audience

the importance of sketchbooks

Having a private sketchbook is vital to my creativity. The key is that it has to be exactly what that word says. It’s a book for your sketches. Not a showcase for your finished drawings. Not your completed masterpieces that you expect to eventually show the world. You can have those too if you want. But you need to have one book that is for yourself. It has to be a place where you feel safe to make mistakes, and to just draw what your muse inspires you to create, even when you don’t really know what she’s saying, and …

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Transmuted Sand

My art this past month is filled with winged things. Perhaps it is because I feel the pulse of the year’s heartbeat rushing past me in a swirl of weather and seasons. The passage catches me up like a whirlwind of wings. The trees are alight with blazing colored leaves. The rare rain seeps across the windowsill. The crows in the park grow brave and chase off the resident red-tailed hawk. Just for a day. She is ensconced in the branches of her throne once again on the following morning. Generally it is a truce of mutual ignoring with the …

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