My collection of sketchy, daily Moleskines dates back to 2006. They all share a common trait…empty centers. In the summer months I don’t spend as much time drawing/writing/creating in my Moleskine. There are other things to do.

Continuing the scribbly lined tree theme for the year.

While I slowly cooked my breakfast this morning, and listened to the latest edition of The Economist, I did a little illuminating. Some might call it doodling, and that is not a wholly inaccurate description of the activity. However, this was doodling with intent after self-assessing my annual habits.

This one is the closest to.a doodle of the them all. It was wonderfully meditative creating the little loops…leaves, bows, who knows?

I also made a conscious choice not to go farther than the pen work on these. I’m giving my overburdened/distracted/outdoorsy future self a chance to play with watercolors later. Yep, I’m making coloring pages for myself.

Faint lines of perspective visible.

The garden club I belong to (Four Seasons Garden Club) plants a tree each year to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day. We plant each one at a school in the area, so the kids can help with the planting. Fun is had by all.

Here’s how Arbor Day came into being according to the History Channel:

The modern idea of an arbor is more of a garden structure for shelter and/or plant support.

My sketch taps into a memory from my childhood of our elm-lined street. Everyone’s house had one or two elms on the parkway. Their canopy covered the street in a cathedral of moist, verdant shade. Blistering summer heat never penetrated that shield, and raucous winds were caught and mitigated by the high branches and leaves.

The monoculture planting that created this beautiful effect showed its inherent weakness when it was devastated by Dutch Elm disease…one by one the trees came down.

A smattering of new trees (more varied for greater resiliency and to address individual’s tastes) were planted. Volunteer trees that grew in convenient locations were left alone to flourish where they sprouted.

The neighborhood was never completely restored.

The strength of a tree is in a forest.

Years ago in the living arbor of Door County

A single tree can provide some shelter, but for a true arbor you need the forest to envelop you.

On the day Daylight Savings Time begins.

I finished today’s illuminations with a return to a bit of doodling. These were created by outlining a petterned glass candleholder that lives on my kitchen counter. I offset it a bit and partially outlined it again. Do we think this will likely end up with a clock face? Not only possible, but probable.

Enjoy your weekend!

Secret Notes

Yesterday, the Kenosha Chamber of Commerce had a hybrid meeting, and I zoomed in to find out how to maximize my KCC membership (the topic of the meeting). I filled two sides of a composition page with notes. How to fit it into my Moleskine notebook? Hmmmm…

I think this solution was a bit more fun than just putting the notes in the book. Order out of chaos and mystery to boot. I added “of the KCC” when I thought of my enfeebled brain looking through the book for the notes I took, “where did they goooo????”

Planning my own UX.

Pipevine Swallowtail Mixed Media

How do I know it’s a Pipevine Swallowtail? My 2021 National Wildlife Federation calendar titled “Treasures of Wildlife” told me.

It also told me the photographer’s name is Robert Day from Daybreak Imagery.

I respect their copyright despite the fact my use is not for profit, so I’m not going to show you the original photo. Instead, I encourage you to visit their online gallery. Richard and Sue Day are talented photographers so you’ll enjoy the visit. You may want to set a timer before you click through so you don’t lose too much time browsing.

Here’s the mixed media (iridescent watercolor, ink, and watercolor pencil) piece I made from it:

Pictured again with a little tilt for the light and iridescent paint to show off their shared talents.

I think I need to do a little reading about this butterfly. The University of Florida has a “Featured Creatures” page about them. Apparently that luminescent blue is an aid in mating.

Time to go to work. Have a great Tuesday!

Playing Hooky at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Yesterday I went to the Milwaukee Art Museum with my friend L. It was a lovely day.

Initially, L had asked me if I wanted to make a day out of going to the Art Institute in Chicago. We’d take the train down, go to the AI, have some lunch, maybe go to the Cristkindlmarket. We’d made our plans in late November for before Christmas. Of course, life happens and plans change.

After rescheduling twice we determined a trip by car to Milwaukee might be a bit safer with Omicron wandering the world.

It was a cold day, but we had a great time!

We wandered the MAM for two and a half hours, and I saw more than I had during any of my previous visits. L had been visiting the MAM since she was a girl with her parents leading the way. She knew the MAM from the pre-Calatrava days.

The famous wings of the museum stayed down yesterday, due to the weather and probably also because it was just another working Thursday for the world.

The Museum is currently doing timed entrances to keep the crowds low, but it would have been a quiet day anyway, I suspect. That suited us just fine.

L is an interior designer, so she had special parts of the museum to see and show me…great collections of modern furniture, but also turn of the previous Century furniture as well.

If you get the chance….