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?