Saturday, August 3, 2013

colored pencils and graphite in pocket moleskine

'fern' is the theme of this week's drawing challenge - hosted by norma, and since my going on and on about a giant fern i saw is one of the reasons norma chose this theme, i wanted to participate...  

it was in early july that i told her i'd just seen a *huge* fern - i don't remember the overall reason for our correspondence at the time, but i do remember that when i told norma about the fern she was, well, norma...   she responded to my excitement as if she herself had seen the giant fern!  we wrote back and forth about it  three or four times!

now, exactly one month later, it seems like lifetimes ago that i came across that fern on one of my wanders.   here it is in all of its fern glory (not that my picture even begins to capture it);  if i were standing next to it we'd be about the same height - a little over five feet tall.

i found it one day when i was walking up this stream, which is one of the headwater streams of the creek that i live on.   we have a lot of water here - and a lot of mossy rocks like the ones in this pic, but because the relative humidity is so low there are very few ferns.  there are some, but they're not very tall or robust.   this is, after all, considered to be high desert.

if you've been exploring an area for 15 years and have never come across a fern of any size, and then one day you see one that's more than 5' tall, believe me, it gets your attention.   you can hardly believe your eyes.  you feel it may be the most wondrous thing you've ever seen in your life...

the pedestal the fern sits on;  it's formed from the previous years growth and is about a foot tall....

watercolors and colored pencil

the 'fern pages' in my daily book.   i drew on the can here at home and took it back to leave at the fern a couple of days later.  the deer flies were way too intense there to sit and draw.

i think i'll visit it once more before winter.  i don't want to go too often because the area is a fragile wetland,  but once in a while i'll visit and treat myself to its presence...

for more fern goodness be sure and visit norma ...

* * * 

All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”

~ James McNeill Whistler


  1. Love the bullet holes in the can. There is a story here. But the best, is how the can would up...with YOUR art and left as an offering of sorts to...the fern goddess/god(?) Well left with love for the great Mother Nature in any event. Please pardon, I'm reading "Homer" The Iliad and so I'm all about gods and immortals and that lot. Lynne you captured 'fern' so well! Brava! I adore the crown of fern (like a feather in a cap) and moss and flowers for adornment. And the look on her face is just so awesome. Her pale grey looking eyes. I cannot say enough how I adore your work, as you know! Thanks for the fern story too! Talk soon, love N, xo

  2. p.s. ignore typos in my comment!! :) N, x

  3. You ever hear that song "Happiness is two kinds of ice cream..."? Well happiness is two kinds of ferns...great big 5 foot tall ones and tiny ones drawn by you, Lynne. I love that first sketch. And now I wish to go hop in a stream.


  4. Oh how delightful is your fern lady - and the real fern that inspired this whole fern challenge is so majestic! Two beautiful creations!

  5. You certainly do live in a lovely place Lynne and the beauty of it all is you can wander safely on your own. Your fern lady captures your whimsical spirit (I love her!)and your joy at discovering the giant fern is contagious.

  6. I love ferns and this one look spectacular! I have several species in my yard at least 6 and several are native. Nature is so incredible, isn't it?


  7. Oh my, it would be truly magical to stumble upon that beautiful fern. We have lots of ferns all around us, but never have I ever seen one so magical. Truly breathtaking, indeed.

    I love visiting your blog and hearing about your beautiful journeys. Nature is so special, and it is so wonderful to be reminded of that reading your blog. Thank you!

  8. your story is just as exciting as is your illustration. fern on one's mind, like this a-one,.... yeah.
    i'm so happy with my own fern in my garden, to have reacquainted with it just yesterday, this challenge in mind too.

  9. That is a WHOPPER of a fern. And so beautiful too. I love your fern lady and the peek into your daily book. Wonderful homage to such an impressive plant.

    Little sidenote - I was so chuffed to see this post pop up in my sidebar as I have been out in my shed doing your face tutorial all morning I was going to post on that thread 'thank you' but I'll say it here instead. Thank you. Such a generous tutorial and though my face came out a little more stern than intended, I learnt so much and will be able to incorporate the techniques in future. Wow though, you must go through buckets of white gouache! I need to invest in more - they've sat on my shelf unloved all this time but I love the effect!

  10. Lynne, That is indeed a wondrous fern!! We don't have them here at all. Lucky duck. And what a wondrous stream as well!
    Love your fern lady.

  11. Years ago...when I middle school students shortened my name to fern stew...I have always loved the cool serene environment in the rain forest. The way the ferns unfurl...slowly... revealing a dance in moist soils. I got my Inktense drawing pencils...and I do LOVE them! Peace be with you, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  12. Fern an elusive plant that im sure has a mind of its own i remember years ago trying to nurture one in my bathroom , a maiden hair , all the rage at the time, but no it would not play nice ( well many of them i tried lol) so out to the rubbish area of the garden it went and u guessed it, it flourished lol thats ferns for ya like us women really, they have a mind of their own lol love your little lady and her headress off to read Norma,s post
    hugz bev

  13. ahhh, your fern piece is wonderful
    as is your friend the fern
    so kind of you to not trample the fragile environment
    we don't have many ferns in our woods either. i have one small one growing slowly under my porch, i love it. i was thinking.... ferns and feathers have something in common...something

  14. i love her purple leaf wing, dear lynne. glad you found a giant fern. its relatives live here in droves! xxxxxoo, sus

  15. I can imagine the quiet excitement finding that glorious fern Lynne! It is grand indeed. Unexpected beauty.

    Love your daily book pages.

    Jacky xox

  16. just delightful - I discovered a small fern growing in my garden yesterday and I am now tending it with care!

  17. we share a love for fern ladies!!! I do so love that fern too, how fabulous, I wonder how old it is... We don't have such huge ferns here, the wind batters them as it swirls in from the sea, you are surrounded by such beauty and your work really reflects this.
    much love morag x

  18. such a tender illustration
    your beautiful fern-lady is
    and than the images....
    what a fine surroundings
    to explore!

    from the Netherlands
    Patrice A.

  19. loved the story Lynne and Fern is just as tender and lovely as the story. Your photos are gorgeous and for just a few brief moments I got lost in your corner of the world.

  20. It's beautiful, I love ferns :)

  21. Lynne, Fern is lovely and delicate, just like her namesake. I totally understand your wonderment at that huge fern; I've seen some pretty big ferns in forests south of here, but I don't think I've ever seen one 5 feet tall! do you happen to know what kind it is? It looks similar to ones that grow around here, but they're not that large, and KY has to be the humidity capital of the U.S. Just my usual curiosity, I guess.

  22. Ferns are some of my favorite plants. I think it has to do with growing up in south Texas, where, as you can imagine, there were ZERO ferns. I always associated them with magical places I'd seen in movies like The Dark Crystal and the like.

    So I was quite happy to discover that Tennessee (at least my area of it) was/is *perfect* for them! I would say that a good third of the gardens that surround our home consists of assorted ferns, both wild ones that I've moved from other spots on the land, and ones I've planted. (my absolute favorite, at least color-wise, is the Japanese Painted fern.. gorgeous!)

    Some are teeny-tiny (I had one planted in a sake cup for a while) and others are quite large. They make me happy!

  23. wow, how did I miss this... been packing too many boxes... more likely sorting thru odds and ends... your fern is swoon worthy... and lovely fern creature... and yes to the whistler quote.. who knew he was a cool dude? xoxo

  24. Beautiful photos!
    Have a nice day! RW & SK

  25. Wow. Seemed a luminous experience. I thought/ think Fern accepted a " meeting" spirit to spirit with the beautiful woman who understands. The forest loves ur care and joy. I feel this.

  26. Thinking of u and the beloved earth, forest, streams during the blaze.

  27. Just wanted to stop by to say hello. You must be enjoying the last days of summer! Hope to see new stuff soon. Miss your paintings, miss your stories.
    Have a great weekend.