Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cattail Ditch

Cattail Ditch
Originally uploaded by linfrye
Daily Practice

"They" say beauty is where you find it -- or beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And I suppose that's true. Especially with this view.

I returned some books to our library last weekend. Our town is in the process of rennovating the library's main branch, and so books, people, and all activities have been moved to a former warehouse. When I arrived there last week to exchange my books, I was awe-struck by the incredible yellows, browns and sepias in the storm ditch bordering the road and parking lot.

I carry my camera almost everywhere I go -- and so, books forgotten for the moment, I began taking photos of the ditch and plants - rudbeckias in full golden display, tumbled stones, cattails in all degrees of flower and seed, pokeberry, daisy fleabane, and more. I was in roadside plant and grass heaven!

I must have taken 40 photos before I even noticed the stares I was getting from the patrons arriving and departing the library. I could overhear some of their conversations and bits of chatter wondering just WHAT I was looking at! LOL Yep -- 'in the eye of the beholder to be sure!' LOL

Since the strip of 'safety' between the road and parking lot was too small to pull out a sketchpad and work on site, I settled for reference photos and a ton of painting ideas.

I'll be painting more from this site and talking more about the specific plants I found there - especially cattails - one of my favorites. But for now, what I want to emphasize more than anything, is that once we begin to train our eyes to SEE the wonder in even the smallest things around us, we will be constantly amazed, excited, thrilled, and rarely at a loss at what to paint. I offer this 'waste-water ditch' as an example.

Have fun 'seeing' today --- and please share with me what you find. I'm always curioius to learn what other folks find amazing .... that way, I learn to 'see' better too ...


Patti G. said...

I am with you Lin........I want to see the wonders! Sometimes it is in colors that surprising, or textures or depth of layering in nature! It is amazing to find beauty where you least expect it! I love your catails, rocks and grass here! I will be looking for the rest of your art from this area!

Teri C said...

So true Lin. Wonderful job on this.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Lin; both prose and painting! I too love cat tails and all manner of roadside "weeds." I never noticed how gorgeous bare trees were against the sky, nor how gorgeous the clouds could be until I took painting lessons. It really opened my eyes and they have stayed open even though I don't paint any longer -- I still "frame" with my eyes those scenes I'd love to paint.
Thanks for sharing so much of your knowledge, talent, and love for the earth with us.

Teresa said...

It's a gorgeous painting, Lin! Yesterday evening the hubby and I took an evening stroll up and down our road (it's a dead end road so it's quiet and peaceful... but certainly not "dead"!) and I noticed some wildflowers blooming profusely in ditch. They were tiny little flowers, one bloom per tall, slim stalk and as we walked I commented to my husband that they looked like snowflakes on a stem! There is beauty all around if we have eyes to see it.

Have a good weekend!

Joan said...

As I was reading your description of how you were taking pictures of the ditch, I was thinking, "I wonder what people who saw Lin were thinking?" I had to laugh because I would have been the same way...except I rarely have my camera. I'm glad you got your reference photos because this came out WONDERFUL!!! I love the colors and the collection of rocks and cattails!!!