I’ll have to wait to see rosebuds. Snow’s predicted tonight. In the meantime the Library of Congress is celebrating with Spring Fling pop-up exhibits, music and tours. Everyone’s invited!
Do poets wander alone “scribbling in notebooks, peering across moors, feeding ducks…?” In “Mary Oliver and the Naturesque,” Alice Gregory suggests that Oliver writes and invites us to ramble with her. As the poet says, “the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting.”
So … yesterday I wandered. After watching reports of far away blizzards, I followed sidewalks dusted with snow. It was my first time out taking photos, because last October I chipped a bone in my foot. Since I am just beginning to paint again, I’m posting this sketch.
Gregory’s article appeared in Poetry magazine on February 16, 2011.
A recipe for July watercolors:
- Step out to the backyard garden.
- Pick a few turnips and bring bring them to school.
- Take out the paints, brushes, paper and containers of water.
- Look at all the different greens and purples on the plants. See how the leaves curve in and out. Which part of the turnip grows underground? Why is the root purple?
Could your paintings also show the soil, the surrounding plants, and the animals that visit the garden?
For more ideas for school projects in the garden, check GreenSTEM Learning by Mary Van Dyke.
And if you’ll be in Arlington, Virginia, in October attend the 2017 Virginia Agriculture Summit.
No, say it isn’t so! The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble.
This year the kids at Carlin Springs Elementary School dove down under to visit the reef — all in their imagination. Inspired by their adventure, young actors created a play and young artists designed the backdrop. Together we admired a host of beautiful sea creatures, especially those in Here is the Coral Reef by Madeleine Dunphy and in Great Barrier Reef by David Doubilet. Ashley Hammond and Colleen Murphy of the Educational Theatre Company directed the performers, and Angel Lopez and I coached the artists.
Long live the reef!
Photo copyright Liz Macklin 2017
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?
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.
Yellow, pink and blue irises bloomed near my door this month!
I’m starting to paint again.
Also, I’m updating my web site at www.lizmacklin.com