Winter Magic

Happy New Year, friends!

Though this time after Christmas can sometimes feel a bit deflated after all the holiday whirlwinds, I love the calmness of it and the opportunity to settle into this quiet wintry space.

We were back in my home state of Montana for a bit, and it was a beautiful (though frigid – with high temps below 0!) visit. The stories of plants evoke so much about the “Sense of Place” for me, so getting to revisit some “old friends” like Juniper was a real joy. I went down the juniper rabbithole, digging into its associated folklore (with wonderful information from Montana Native Plants & Early Peoples by Jeff Hart).

Here are some of the juniper reflections from my sketchbook, with some plant notes garnered from the book above (as an aside, I’ve finally accepted that I’m just not a journal-writer. I think in terms of pictures, so my sketchbook serves as a sort of hodge-podge journal to work out ideas and inspiration):

The animals that came to mind are some that we see frequently in this patch of prairie – the trundling porcupine is always such a treat to come upon. I liked to think of him enjoying some warm juniper tea on a cold, snowy day.

I used a blue Prismacolor Col-Erase pencil for these sketches…it’s become a favorite of mine for sketching in general, but it also evokes a wintry feeling so well!

I also did a quick watercolor and brought out my dip pen for outlining – I love the organic lines of a dip pen, and it helps me to loosen up my drawings…though it can sure be nerve-wracking to use at times! It’s something I want to practice with more in the new year.

Thanks for walking through my sketchbook with me! I’ve had a goal the past several years of filling up a sketchbook each year, and for 2021, I didn’t quite get there…so I have a few more pages left, and then I’m on to a crisp, new sketchbook. What sort of winter habits do you like to keep?

Best wishes,

8 responses to “Winter Magic”

  1. This is absolutely stunning and is a perfect representation of how I envision winter after the holiday season. I have always been a big admirer of juniper (the scent, the colors, the delicate beauty of it overall) and seeing it drawn with some of my favorite animals is wonderful! 💙❄🦌


  2. Beautiful and inspiring as always! If you stick to the sketching, I’ll do the journaling. I started a nature journal this month, and so far the only drawing in there is one snowflake doodle. But I intend to keep trying. Otherwise, winter is off to a great start.


    • Aw thanks so much, Morgan! Between my sketching and your journaling, we’ll have the whole kit & caboodle. 🙂 I love that you started a nature journal. And one snowflake is still a great start. I always aspire to do something like the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, but I never get there. 😉


  3. Your drawings are beautiful. Here in upstate New York January is stark and cold. The perfect weather for pondering and reading. I love long walks on the sunny days after there’s snow on the ground and the happy sounds of blue jays and the tiniest bits of thaw here and there.


    • Thanks so much Adrienne 🙂 That sounds so cozy and wonderful. We don’t have blue jays out here, but I can imagine they’re an absolute wonder to see. Here in the PNW, the winter ends up being quite rainy and gray…so the little jaunt to Montana with sunny winter skies was a treat.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just love getting a peek into your sketchbook! Its so neat to see the animals and plants of winter in montana. I’ve never seen a porcopine! (Evidently, I cant even spell it!!) those juniper berries are so beautiful too….


    • Aw thanks Heather!! There are a few porcupines that we see trundling there each time, and they are so amazing! (Good ol’ Capture inevitably gets quilled because he’s too excited to keep his distance)


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