Monday, March 16, 2009

Carib thoughts.....

With the rain (and occasional snow showers) still coming down , it is hard not to think of the warm water and breezes of my recent travels! The garden clean-up will have to wait for dryer weather. I have all my seeds in hand....just need to get the greenhouse organized for Spring and emptied of all the plants and pots that were hastily put in before our December snows hit. Even my Meyer Lemon tree, housed in a large Italian lemon pot, is looking forlorn. It spends it's Summer outside in our entry courtyard, but Winters here at 1000 feet elevation require that it be brought inside under the North facing skylites of our living room. It obviously perfers being outside, but must wait another month before it will be warm enough to chance it!

This is the time of year when I gravitate to my sketchbooks, preparing for teaching my Spring term 'Landscape Illustration' course at the local Community College. Over the years I have forced myself to switch to sketching with a pen rather than pencil. I combine sketches with my journal writings and have enjoyed the way my sketches help to slow down the pace of a vacation. It takes quite an effort, especially when traveling with others, to sit in one place for 30 minutes and just absorb what you are looking at! The Granadines are a very colorful group of islands, as my last post illustrated ( not only the flowers, but the boats, houses and dress of the people reflect a love for saturated colors washed by the sun), so drawing in black and white can be a challenge. You realize that you are paying more attention to edges and to how the light molds a shape. You must also translate the value of the colors (their lightness and darkness) to the various textural scribblings of your pen.
March in Oregon is a very fickle month! Everyone is anxious for the rains to stop, but still loving snows in the mountains so skiing can continue into the Summer months. Our Mt. Hood has a glacier on it and even boasts a 'Summer Ski Season'. Right now it is still covered with a deep mantle of white. The valley is displaying it's Winter dress of green, with grass, moss and lichen in their glory! During the Summer months when the dry season begins, watering systems will be needed to keep gardens fresh looking. I like these seasonal changes and even though Caribbean weather seems ideal, I think I'd miss the anticipation that change brings.

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