Christmas sketches

Bark and Garden Center

various pens and watercolors in w/c journal

It was a day of “wintry mix” precipitation last week and we sketchers were not to be deterred. A wintry mix forecast on the weather apps, I’ve learned, means an unpredictable and freezing mix of rain, sleet, and snow with a similar mixture involving some ice on the ground. In all cases it means lots of layers of clothing to put on and take off throughout the day unless you just stay inside. 

Wintry mix does not mix well with sketching on location outdoors, obviously, so the always resourceful Jane Wingfield suggested the perfect solution: the enormous indoor plant nursery at the Bark and Garden Center with its endless (still life-) displays of plants and statuary. And it was a balmy 50 – 60 degree temperature!

Of course the nursery was in full-on Christmas tree, poinsettia and reindeer mode, and I probably go back there to do at least one Xmas card illustration sketch! The owner was so welcoming to us sketchers.

But there was something about this Greco-Roman mother figure that attracted me to sit with her for a while. She seemed powerful and indrawn, and so at one with the enveloping plant life, that the sketching of her became my own afternoon meditation. 


Grandma Buddy’s Tree Farm

Winter weather presents some problems for ardent on-location sketchers like my friends and I. But we have learned some ways to get around the cold and wet. Earlier this week we started off with a delicious and warming lunch at Graton’s Willow Wood Market Cafe then headed up the road to Grandma Buddy’s Tree Farm, knowing that there was a barn there and hoping for a bit of heat to go with the Christmas decorations.


fountain pen and watercolor in Stillman + Birn 7 X 10″ sketchbook

We were rewarded with not only a warming wood stove and a fairyland of garlands, electric train set, candy, cocoa and more, but chairs to sit in. I even found a comfy living room chair and wrapped up in the afghan supplied with it.
grandmabuddys2Diane and her husband are the owners of the farm and Diane’s expertise in design is abundant everywhere. She regaled us with stories of Grandma and the rigors of tree farming.

Later in the week Bob and I came back and cut our own Grandma Buddy’s tree, which now is in the living room hung with lights and the Tyvek angels!