sunflowers

Sunflower Festival

In the summertime Thursten County, WA, where I live now, reminds me so much of Sonoma County, CA! It’s the dry sunny weather and the farms, just a few miles from my house. Last week their Sunflower Festival became a perfect opportunity to get out and sketch with friends. Rutledge Farm is best known for it’s Corn Maze, Halloween, and pumpkin harvest activities which draw the crowds. 

For the price of admission we got a very bumpy, dusty ride out to the four acre sunflower fields where 46 varieties awaited, and later the opportunity to pick our favorite bloom to take home.

These best friends hopped into the car ahead of us and later posed for a picture. This is a yearly activity for them, and they were loaded with t-shirt and bags and jewelry from previous sunflower doings!

pen, w/c pencils, watercolor in Etchr sketchbook

There’s always some kind of unexpected challenge when approaching a new location, even one as picturesque as a field of sunflowers. The obvious ones this day were: no shade, dusty ground, air thick with pollinators, aka bees, and humans of all ages trampling around with their clippers, looking for the biggest and brightest “stars” of the show to cut and take home. I did some standing sketches and retreated to the shaded picnic tables to add color.

We ended the morning by sharing sketches, eating homemade berry ice cream, and showing off our blooms to take home.

Proud of my choice! Something about the slump of the seed center that added to the personality.

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A teaspoon of beauty

I turned over my calendar today to see a sketch I did at Preston Farms and Winery last year. Pumpkins and other harvest goodies on a country porch. And I wondered if I will have the opportunity this month to enjoy the countryside with my sketchbook in hand.

This October finds us staying home with the air purifiers going. But one can always find a teaspoon of beauty elixir to treat the doldrums, and sunflowers are particularly effective.

The flowers themselves, on the dining room table, have long since died, but I saved the sketch for this smokey day when it could provide balm.

If you’d like to see the pumpkins from last October, check out this post