8 1/2" x 11" Book Making · Drawings · garden drawings · Making books with elementary students

Where’s summer? We’ve got the flowers, and that’s a start!

yellow flower drawing

It’s cool (cold?) and rainy here in upstate NY. We’ve had a few teaser hot days, but not lately. As the school year winds down, I am taking a great deal of pleasure in looking over the flowers of summer that were drawn by third graders during my time with them making Spinning Books which feature the parts of plants on one side of the page, and the explanation of the function of that plant part on the backside of the page.

colorful flower

The highlight of this workshop was looking at flower drawings done by the students.flowers on a spike

I offered fairly opened-ended suggestions on how to draw flowers. I demonstrated flowers with four-and-five petals, with more than five petals, umbel-type flowers (flower cluster resemble umbellas), and racemes (flowers on spike), I told them that there are so many types of flowers in the world whatever choices they made in terms of shapes and colors, that there is likely a flower somewhere that would match their creation.

getting started with flower drawings

The students began their drawings on cover-weight white paper which had two 4” squares and one 4″ x 2.5″ rectangle printed on the paper. This helped students make their drawings as big as they needed to be.

red shirt, red flower

It was interesting to see that many children drew pictures that matched the clothing that they were wearing.

flower parts on page

After the drawings were done, the students cut them out, leaving  a border of white paper around the edges of the drawings. This helps the drawings stand out better than if they were cut right on the black line (which is first done is pencil, then traced over with a thin black marker).

mexican looking flower

I have to say that this project was a complete pleasure to do with these third graders. Their ample skills, enthusiasm and creativity were well showcased.

Ellie's flower and pot

I was particularly blown away by noticing the wide range of expression. While some drawings were lovely in a classically recognizable way…

Dancing Stamens

…the work of other students looked like cutting edge modern art. Notice how the stamens of this flower look like dancers in a fiery field!


And this young man was excited to draw the Texas Bluebonnet as it appeared to him. He sounded completely captivated as he explained to me how the parts of this flower blended to appear to be a dense cluster of blue.

Flower going into its pot

Watching these students draw is the best part of what I do. And it helps me bear waiting for this summer to come.

Again, here is the link to the first post I wrote on these Spinning Books: take a look if you would like to get a better idea of the finished product.

Drawings · garden drawings · November 20

November 20, 2010: Weblog Birthday

This weblog is one year old today.

After so many years of drawing, teaching, and thinking about art in relative isolation, it feels so good to be able to record bits of pieces of this journey in a blog.

As I attend to the rhythm, pace and visuals of posting, what has emerged is the discovery that this virtual tool is, itself, as much of an artful, satisfying vehicle of expression as my pencil, paper, color, glue and scissors work.

Thank you to WordPress, Search Engines, and Searchers.

Drawings · garden drawings · Uncategorized

Catching the Season

Bergamont Drawing
Bee Balm: Mint Family

   The past Monday my  friend Jocelyn and I harvested wild bee balm, to use to make tea.  We were catching just the end of the peak season: already many of the petals were turning brown.  Wednesday I went looking for bee balm to draw, but I was too late.  Although their light purple blush still colors the hillside, the individual flowers have begun to deteriorate beyond my interest in drawing them. Fortunately, the garden variety is still hardy near my doorstep, so for the second time this season I focused on this bright red floozy of a flower. 

This prints up nicely on envelopes. 

This sprig of rosemary is one of the drawings from Tuesday.   It was done with my neighbor, Suvir, in mind,  as he especially admired my drawing of parsley that I printed on an envelope and gave to him. 

I had a hard time with this herb.  I did a couple of these, and gave a different one to Suvir.  My husband, today, said the other (unpictured) drawing looked more like fennel than rosemary. 

Everyone’s a critic…..