Fish of the Reef !

Sketching at the National Museum of Natural History-ย Day 20/31 – #WorldWatercolorMonth

A trip to D.C. always entails a quick stop at a museum or two on the way back, and this time I had an hour to spare and decided that a visit to the Reef tank at the National Museum of Natural History was where I’d spend it. I’d forgotten it was summer and that the summer campers would be out there and of course the Natural History museum is top on the list. Not surprisingly getting up close to the aquarium wasn’t possible, for as when one wave of yellow kiddie tee shirts left, along came another group in green and then another in blue and so on…It simply was amusing to watch the kids arrive like a swarm of bees, park themselves in front of the tank, squeal and point and chatter on about Nemo and Dory, and then just as sudden as they arrived, they quickly moved on to the next exhibit.

it was impossible to stand close without blocking the kids, so I found a spot across from the aquarium and tried sketching the exotic salt water fish. They darted about so quickly it was hard to stay focused on any one of them. My only recourse was to skip about the page from fish to fish filling in details as the swam by. Of course this means the paint dried in between strokes! Oh well, I’ll get to do this again soon.

Poppies in the Windย 

The last of the few poppies swaying in the wind as I walked by, turned my head, but it was the numerous seed pods that stood sentinel over them that really caught my eye! As the poppies dropped over from their own weight, the seed pods stood upright,  ready for the next generation to take over! 

๐Ÿ”™Back from a short break ๐Ÿ’ค

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better – Albert EinsteinOne of my all time favorite quotes! 

Sometimes I just need to take a break from things to quiet the mind and focus ๐Ÿ”ฌon other stuff. So every so often I take a short break (at times it extends into longer than expected) – a break from social media ๐Ÿ“ต. Turn off all external noise and focus on all things not social media! This frees up quite a bit of timeโฑ. (Ever wonder how much โณ we spend on social media ๐Ÿ˜œ!

During these times I “do more things that make me forget to check my ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ“ฒโŒš๏ธ”

I take that extra time to read ๐Ÿ‘“(read stuff not on social media) ๐Ÿ“š, or spend time looking, ๐Ÿ‘€really looking๐Ÿ”Ž, and sketching ๐ŸŽจin nature ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿž๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ , or take time to converse with family and friends๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฅ(not just txt) ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Over the last four days I did just that. I finished two good books ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ‘. I did lots of sketches ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ–and studies en plein air ๐Ÿ•โ›ฐand quite a bit of gardening ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŽ‹๐ŸŒพ- in the cooler๐Ÿ†’ hoursโŒ›๏ธ of the day of course ! 

I sketch and paint everyday regardless of whether I post or not. A lot of these sketches never see the light of day ๐ŸŒ• beyond my easel or sketch book. No matter, coz it’s the discipline that counts, right! 

If you haven’t guessed it already today is #WorldEmojiDay. I rarely use emojis! So it’s quite a comeback from a break on social media, wouldn’t you say!

Happy World Emoji Day or ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ•๐Ÿ“† 

Here’s my favorite brushstroke done @hirshhorn of Roy Lichtenstein’s brushstroke!

Tomorrow I’ll post the stuff I’ve been working on over my break! ๐Ÿš™ (interesting, that’s the emoji that came up for break- car brake! Hmmm) 

Looking up from down hill

Day 13/31 – #WorldWatercolorMonth

The heat and humid of the past few weeks with intermittent thunderstorms every two to three days surely says it’s summer. That being said, the usual summer blooms on the meadow garden are a bit late and just putting out color. The  rudbeckia, coreopsis and a few culverโ€™s root are out but generally there’s a lot more than yellow and white – there are purples, pinks and mauves, reds and oranges of the allium, Joe Pye Weed, milkweed, aster, sedge, fern, turtlehead, sunflower, goldenrod, verbena, monarda, penstemon, mountain mint, ironweed, and more, dispersed through the hillside on the meadow gardens by now. Still I’ll settle for some color any color on a hot sultry day like this. 

Tropical Patternsย 

Day 8/31 – #WorldWatercolorMonth

Today’s post is about Patterns. At the US Botanic Gardens the tropical plants all around were luscious and very green. Only a few had blooms on them, but that didn’t really matter because the leaves were large, some of them even a 2-3 feet long and a foot wide and heavily patterned. Meandering through the pathways you didn’t really distinguish each leaf individually because the stripes and the colors just seemed to merge and flow into one another forming intricate patterns of yellows and greens in all shades. This is just one pattern that stood out and it happened to have a calyx adding an extra pop of color. 

Utamaro’s Okubi-e

Day2/31 #WorldWatercolorMonth 

Sackler gallery’s has a new exhibit ‘Inventing Utamaro’ displaying the famous triptych depicting the theme of “snow, moon and Flowers” of Kitagawa Utamaro. Along side this are also some fabulous woodblock prints of this legendary Japanese artist. I was really drawn to his woodblock prints. I managed to do a quick pen and ink sketch inside of a few and then used the sketches as reference to do this watercolor sitting just outside looking in. These prints now called okubi-e or large head pictures became part of his signature style. This one was titled ‘Wakana and Wakanoura of the Wakanaya’. 

I’ll be back again tomorrow for the second half of the painting.