Lately I’ve had a few too many irons in the fire, and haven’t given myself permission to draw or paint much. After receiving an invitation to join Kate’s new nature blog, a part of me decided that posting some older work was quite acceptable. Another part of me took myself outside and just started to paint! So today I hope you enjoy sharing this oak with me.
Here in southwest Florida our spring is subtle but still quite tangible. As I was painting this upper branch, a red-headed woodpecker flitted in the canopy as a nearby gray squirrel scolded me and skittered in the dry leaf litter below. Blue jays performed their little hopping dance; warblers and mockingbirds sang their hearts out. The sun danced through the oak leaves, weaving a carpet of dappled shade. It’s warm, but breezy and dry.
I found a few remnants of acorns to draw; it was a minor crop this year compared to the year before. New leaves are vibrantly green, turning to olive as they mature; they are leathery and tough, designed to survive our spring droughts and the intense summer sun. The waxy upper surface and the curled-under leaf margins help this massive tree conserve water. The delightfully corrugated bark is a lovely combination of cool browns and grays, supporting ferns, lichens, mosses, and air plants.
What a wonderful reconnection for me! Thanks, Kate, for the invitation and the inspiration!