Inspiration: Sprout Tree

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Inspiration cabbage

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I found a tree in a brussel sprout. It was a sweet little surprise. I’m the only brussel sprout eater in my house, which makes no sense to me at all since they are delicious. “Eat your brussel sprouts” sounds terrible, though. “Want to eat a tiny tree?” sounds so much better. Won’t work, but will be fun to try. The real question is – why look so closely at my vegetables?!

Close up is my favorite way to look at things. I’m the girl out in the woods with my camera trying to take a picture of a single leaf, the one that’s fluttering in the wind. Hopeless. The intricacy of the shapes and textures in nature inspire. We take so much that we see for granted. It’s easy to walk by a plant and never look at it carefully. How is it constructed? How many colors of green are there? Just where and how do different parts connect?

It turns out that drawing is a way for me to look more carefully. We’ve had a couple sessions at home of collecting things in the wild and then sitting down at home to draw them. It’s a lot of fun and opens us all up to realizing how much there is in the world to engage with and just look at. For example, I’ve seen a thousand sea shells but it took drawing them to realize that there are lines crossing the ridges on a clam shell and they all line up. They line up like the rings on a tree. They are probably growth rings. Without sitting down to draw a shell, I would have never seen it.

Inspiration: Shell

So I’m learning to have a new appreciation for my fascination with these details. I take more pictures, only now with the idea of drawing from them. On the computer they aren’t going to do us any good. I’m thinking about making a “drawing inspiration” book. One picture per page. Nice and big so we can all look at it. Another way to bring nature inside. What do you think? A bit nutty? Maybe we should just make a calendar!

3 responses on “Inspiration: Sprout Tree

  1. Sarah Turley

    Since I’ve been gardening, I’ve developed a new appreciation for the details in nature and the subtle differences between different varieties of plants and insects. It’s very useful to be able to spot weeds which are hiding out in similar-looking plants, and it’s fascinating to notice that there are all sorts of bumble bees. As I was growing up, I thought there were just bumble bees and honey bees, but that’s not true at all.

    1. Christine Post author

      You’re so right! Also every time I try to take a picture of the garden, it looks silly to me. The close ups fascinate. There’s always a new detail to discover. That nature – she’s a genius!

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