The Near North. That’s what some people call the border region of Ohio and Kentucky. Coming from Wisconsin which unquestionably qualifies as North, this is definitely the South for my money. The spring says this loudest by way of lush and exotic flora. Sumptuous fushia rhododendrons. Regal magenta azaleas. Electric violet red buds. Fields of golden daffodils and yards of Holland tulips. Long languishing claret tinged periwinkle wisteria. Though not as blatant but no shrinking violets are the mad profusions of ivory and shell pink dogwoods. On my first long outdoor walk last weekend, they took my breath away. This part of the country, this time of year. All technicolor and magic.
Somewhere tucked safely away from my consciousness sits my lovely drawing kit. Several years ago, Bea gave me a box of drawing pencils and reintroduced me to the joy of sketching. As is her habit, she presented not just the pencils but a pencil ensemble including a pretty zippered case and a red jacketed Moleskin sketchbook. As I write, I suspect that they were whisked into a studio drawer during a last minute clean up for guests last weekend. Alas, these insights were not with me yesterday–only a desire to sketch. And, so, needing no more of an excuse, I went to the Plaza Art Supply and returned with 3 small watercolor sketchbooks, a set of drawing pens, AND a fresh new set of drawing pencils. In the total scheme of things, a small cost for bliss.
The last 20 minutes before bedtime were spent experimenting with the rich dark soft leads and delicate hard leads on the texture of cheap watercolor. The subject? Those lovely dogwoods. I imported my speedy sketch into my digital painting program and played another half hour. How lovely that it is May 1 and my inspirations are live, real things.
May your eyes light on similar beauty this May 1.