Tuesday, January 10, 2012

pencils + trees

In the manner of Kate Bingaman Burt, who made her mark by documenting everything she bought each day with a drawing, I sketched some of the gifts I received this year as thank you cards.

Did you see the moonbow in the sky last night? So awesome. My sweetheart gave me a pair of reading glasses that have little bulbs in the temples, so you can read at night, and ahem, not wake your neighbor.
Invariably, when the moon is getting full, I am energized. An insomniac. He also gave me a Luna Time Clock, so I can always know where the moon is. An insomniac AND a lunatic! Between that, and my lunar calendar, I'm good.

My daughter helped pick out this groovy wallet. Stylish spending. Love!

 Curious friends, Kirsten and Mark, gave us a little orange deer dispenser, adorable and useful. We watched Dr. Who together the day after Christmas. Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey fun.

Susan Blackaby, amazing author of Nest, Nook, and Cranny sent from her coast to ours a trio of rubber duckies to add to our collection. Oh, and some peeps! I feel a story coming on.

My potter friend, Peg, who knows I am dotty about patterns, made this mega cup, which I drink from now, plotting in my sketchbook.

Our neighbor, Eleanor, gave us a pretty bottle of gooseberry cordial that she made from trees in her yard.

Trees are so inspirational. Here's where I segue into my current Sketchbook Project. I was talked into this last year by Mary Anne Lloyd, and it was a blast. (Here is my sketchbook 2011.) Just like last time, it took me a long time to begin. Procrastination, also known as incubating, is a large part of my process. 

I've been simmering a book idea about tree houses on a back burner for over a year. Since "tree house" was one of the themes offered by the Sketchbook Project, I figured it would help get something going.

Sure enough, once I get drawing, ideas flow. I still have several pages to fill, but I did the cover this morning, inspired by our visit to Eyes on Owls in December.

I started out in the middle, thank you, Mary Anne. I began documenting the various tree houses I've encountered on Peaks Island. Here's one, where I'm not invited.

After I drew from observation, I needed some invention thrown in. Here's my resident fairy, perched on a pine cone with her acorn tea.

Drawing, looking, and reading has also broadened my idea of what is a tree house. My daughter got Wildwood for Christmas, and since she's still working on her book report on Lord of the Flies, I started reading her copy. I'm in love with the illustrations by Carson Ellis, and the story by Colin Meloy is rich in atmosphere.

There's a huge tree hanging over a bluff on the beach down the hill. Someday it may crash into the sea, but meanwhile, the roots are exposed, and got me thinking about Prue, hiding beneath a warren of coyotes.

 And here's a hint. A certain tree hollow is home for our letter box. I added Kooky in my drawing, as a brave guard. See if you can find it, all you letter boxers!

And what about this naked teepee, built in the fall by Susan? She was ritually burning old papers, writings. Purging in a ceremonial way. So this is a tree house of ash and memories.

Well, I have many more pages to fill. But it's back to work, illustrating whales. Yes, Charlesbridge, I am getting there! But all work and no play would make a dull pencil. Right?


Hannah Rosengren said...

these are wonderful! I too have been spending my break filling up my entry for the Sketchbook Project. love the theme!

Cathryn Falwell said...

Lovely, Jamie!
Come visit my tree house!

Cathryn Falwell said...

Lovely, Jamie.
Come visit my tree house!