spring equinox workshop

sunbonnetwatercolor and Sharpee pen in Arches Travel Book

Sun bonneted and rain slickered, Equinox sketchin at Lynmar

Connie had the right idea for attire in this beginning of spring nature sketchbooking workshop.  When I saw her sitting there on her stool sketching behind a mass of daffodils in her yellow rain slicker with the sun shining on her sun hat and the stormy skies behind I realized she was a perfect illustration for the day!  The day was a roller coaster ride of rising and falling temperatures, changing light and wind patterns.  But it was a sturdy crew that dressed for the weather and accepted the inevitable discomforts of “lap sketching” perched precariously on soft ground in a windy wet garden.  One student, who has been studying art at the local college kept saying, “This is just what I needed for my art.  I feel so free!  I feel so free!”  And there is something freeing about realizing you can practice your art, expressing your joyful appreciation of nature without a studio or easel or even much time.

blissgardenLet me also say here, that we were abundantly blessed by being able to spend the day at Lynmar Estate Winery where the owner and staff welcomed us with  generosity and enthusiasm for what we were doing.  As I’ve said before, Lynmar is a magical place where you can’t sit down without being serenaded by a mockingbird on the barn roof or watching a flock of white pelicans over the water or a family of wild turkeys making their way slowly across the fields.  The place is so friendly to nature’s creatures and plant life that (I hate to use his analogy) but it’s like the old Disney movies where even the flowers seem to be singing.  THe above sketch was my demo in the garden of (yes, this is the real name) the Bliss House.

lavendercookiesIn the afternoon we were around the barn and chicken coop where the hens were laying the biggest pile of blue green eggs (I peeked and almost all the nests were full of hens).  Finally at 3pm the rains came and as if on cue, SAndra arrived to serve us homemade heart shaped lavender cookies and tea and coffee in the barn.  Just a hint of lavender taste in a butter cookie – yum!!  Definitely a sketchbook-worthy event.  This was a page prepared first with plastic wrap on wet paint.

barnstudents busy at work in the barn while the rain comes down outside

Come back tomorrow when I’ll share some student sketches from the day!



  1. I’m jealous!! Just a bit… You sound like you had a really wonderful day!!! Certainly the setting waspastoral and beautiful. Sketching AND being served cookies and tea…. Bliss House, indeed!

    Love those sketches! Neat idea about using plastic to add texture to your pages beforehand. I’ve heard of other people doing similar things, like simply painting a background colour. I’ve never tried it myself, though. Sounds like fun!


  2. Thanks Bonny! Yes, try the plastic wrap. Use lots of paint so the texture shows up, press the wrap on with wrinkles, let it sit a few minutes and carefully pull it off. It doesn’t have to be totally dry. Have fun!


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