Stillman and Birn
gallery
April 28th, 2019

Unfurling Ferns

Artist: Jean Mackay, United States
Thank you naturalist Jean Mackay for posting this lovely drawing of unfurling ferns to celebrate the arrival of spring. One of the joys of spring is watching fern fronds unfurl. They start with small fuzzy arcs in the early spring, just poking their little heads above the crown of the plant and slowly growing upward and unfurling like the unwinding of a spring.

From Jean’s blog:  “My simple tip…is to let observation and delight drive your sketching. Go out with no agenda and see what strikes you. I was drawn in by the variety of fiddleheads when I started looking more closely at them unfurling in the woods – some hairy, some smooth, some reddish-brown, others bright yellow-green. Had I gone out with a pre-planned idea of what I wanted to paint, I might never have seen them.”

Thank you Jean for also posting the excerpt from poet laureate M.S. Merwin’s lyrical contemplation of spring, his poem “Empty Water”. These are the lines in Jean’s drawing:

come back
believer in shade
believer in silence and elegance
believer in ferns
believer in patience
believer in the rain

Here is the link to the entire Merwin poem: https://bit.ly/2UM9U8G

MEDIA: Ink and watercolor
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Jean Mackay is a naturalist, watercolorist and art instructor. She is the Director of Communications and Outreach at the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. This is the link to Jean’s blog: http://www.jeanmackayart.com/

 

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