Thursday, August 20, 2020

Nature Journaling :Phenology Wheel

Nature  Journaling Phenology Wheel-Covid Journal for May by Meera Rao 

I made this Phenology wheel in May because I always wanted to do a nature journal that way.  I did it on printer paper bigger than my Journal so set it aside in a watercolor pad. Out of site meant out of mind until I picked up that pad couple of days ago.  I then right away photographed it for the blog, before it slipped from my mind again ! 

I spent many hours trying to figure out how/what I wanted to illustrate in the wheel. There were many tries before the template  felt 'good enough'.  In the end it all hinged on the size of the wheel- four sections, one for each week (9 days the first week since there are 31 days in May) and I decided to concentrate on a nature find, moon phase and something fun for each section. I noted temperature highs and lows for each week and in the center noted the coronavirus cases for May in our little town! I tracked down average rain fall, average temperature, humidity, sunset/sunrise times foe may1 and 31.  I did not have any trouble filling the sections each week.  The bread is in there because its sour dough made from 'scratch' harvesting 'yeast' from air :) 

Sheltering in place has meant lots of time to really observe nature in my backyard. And it is so much fun :) I have always known much goes on out there but this is the first time I have been recording some of them a little more diligently! Last year for my Virginia Master Naturalist class, I started nature journaling and have found it very satisfying. Because it was just regular printer paper I used color pencils, not watercolors. I saved the template for the wheel, so I may try again soon may be for another month or on pie piece for each month in a year  :) 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Fleeting Vignettes


Showing my art at Poquoson Public Library 

       Showing my art at Poquoson Public Library

Showing my art Poquoson Public Library

Sixteen of my watercolors "Fleeting Vignettes"  are on exhibit at the Poquoson Public Library for the month of August.  In June I participated in the #30x30directwatercolor challenge to create 30 paintings in 30 days in direct watercolor without sketching ahead of time.  I would call it a success as all these sixteen paintings were from that exercise! And I even sold one painting so far :) 

I made myself paint values, shapes and entertain only a few significant details. Pushing to finish a painting a day with no preliminary drawings forced me to be very mindful of sweet spots,  compositions, and especially values. I found myself sifting through my reference photos trying to find those that I could paint without sketching (or sometimes with minimal perspective dots or markings) ahead of time. I discovered to my surprise I was not painting with abandon and it was nerve wracking at times. I definitely painted some subjects I would not have considered before and was pretty pleased with the results! I painted on 100% cotton rough watercolor paper I had bought in India couple of years ago and it was fun to see them all lined up at the end of the month and see my accomplishment. Even though I was exhausted by the end, the challenge I feel was a very worthwhile to participate in. Because of sheltering in place, I ended up framing them all myself!  

I am so glad Marc Taro Holmes started the challenge. This is my second time participating in the month long challenge which in my case extended a week beyond a month to make up for missed  days I could not help.  Surf on over to my Instagram @artbymeera to see all my 30 paintings or to the facebook group  #30x30directwatercolor (link above) to see all the attempts by hundreds of participants.  If you are in my neck of the woods, please do stop by the library and check out the paintings.  I am donating half the price of sold paintings to the Food Bank.   

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