Winter Watercolors and Then — Spring!!

Along Four Mile Run at Long Branch Nature Center
Along Four Mile Run at Long Branch Nature Center

Spring? Not quite yet. This month I’ve painted with a new group of artists – talented teens from Arlington County. On a sunny Saturday we packed up our watercolors and met at Long Branch Nature Center.

There’s still snow in the shadows, but the park naturalists are thinking ahead to spring planting. The center sponsors an annual native plant sale with a deadline for placing orders on April 4, 2014. See the center’s web site for more information and full color photos of bluebells, cardinal flowers, coneflowers, wild geraniums and other flowers. I’m thinking about green shoots and blossoms now. How about you?garden detail

Seven Degree Days

Snow Houses | watercolor |copyright Liz Macklin 2013

It’s 5:55 am and I’ve checked temperatures on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) web site. It’s -26 degrees Fahrenheit in International Falls, Minnesota. My town feels like the tropics at a balmy 7 degrees. NOAA cautions us to protect our noses and other extremities from the cold! My favorite post tells how snowflakes form.

Google says its 39 degrees F in Reykjavik, Iceland. In my email I read that poet Joanne Growney has written about measuring winter and about a recent trip to Iceland in her blog Intersections – Poetry with Mathematics. I start to dream of hot springs and the steamy blue waters I’ve seen in photos of Icelandic mineral baths. Time to wrap up in a quilt, brew a cup of hot tea and then get ready for work.

Sunday Snow

Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle | watercolor | copyright Liz Macklin 2012

Snow’s on its way — at least if you believe the weather report. On a snowy day several years  ago, I hopped on the subway and rode to the Smithsonian Castle. My friends and I wandered through gardens laced with frost and then toured exhibits of masks and elaborate figures made of wood, horn, beads and ceramics at the National Museum of African Art.

Just about any time, it’s easy to spend hours browsing the Smithsonian web site. If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t let the snow keep you inside. Grab mittens and a hat and take a trip to your favorite museum.

Wings, Woodlands and Watercolor

Korean Garden (detail) | watercolor | 3.5″ by 5.5″ | copyright Liz Macklin 2010

Sunday afternoon at the park. Enjoy the  animals — owls, hawks, tortoises, snakes. Drop by to watch and talk or bring your sketchbook and your paints.

Students from HB Woodlawn school will host activities for kids and demonstrate a variety of art techniques.

I’ll be painting, and I’ll be eager to discuss  gardens, nature drawing, book design, popups and inspiration from the far east, especially Korean kimonos and embroidery.

Stop by and say hello!

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, — Marcey Road off Military Road, Arlington, Virginia

Sunday, June 6 — 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Spring Festival at Potomac Overlook

Autumn at Potomac Overlook
Autumn at Potomac Overlook | watercolor | copyright Liz Macklin 2010

Live music, games, food, a juggler, community exhibits, art and the annual Taylor Elementary School maypole dance — all at Potomac Overlook Park’s spring open house! Special exhibits this year focus on energy, the environment and electric vehicles.

Sunday, May 2, 1:00 to 4:00

Here’s an autumn view from the nature center.

Nature Drawing and Painting

Daffodils
Daffodils | watercolor | 7" by 8" | copyright Liz Macklin 2010

It’s time to draw and paint outdoors! Join me and more than 40 other artists at the spring art festival at Fort C. F. Smith Park.

We’ll celebrate with an opening reception and exhibit on Friday, March 19th from 6 to 8 pm. Drawings, paintings, ceramics and glass will be on view all week in the historic Hendry House at 2411 N. 24th Street in Arlington.

There will be workshops, lectures and concerts — all free and open to the public. For anyone interested in sketching outdoors, Jocelyn Hunn and and I will lead  nature drawing from noon to 2 pm on Saturday, March 20th. We’ll sketch flora and fauna throughout the park using easy techniques. All ages and abilities are welcome. Children under 12 must be  accompanied by an adult.

For information about the full week of programs, see the Arlington Artists Alliance website. To register for workshops, e-mail sparkerart@yahoo.com.