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February 16 - Anticipating Spring

On a walk through my neighborhood this weekend I saw my first patch of lavender crocus popping up in a neighbor’s yard. I came back to check my own garden and they haven’t emerged yet, but I am anticipating their arrival as one of the first signs of spring. After seeing those first flowers, I also began to notice the green shoots of other bulbs beginning to emerge, some surrounded by ice and frozen ground this weekend.

Spring is the time in the natural world when things begin to thaw and sprout, a time for planting and marking new beginnings. The seeds and plants that lay dormant through winter begin to wake up and emerge.

Spring can be cold; the bluebells above were seen on a hike at River Bend Park on April 1st of last year. I remember wearing my hat and winter coat on a cold drizzly day. Spring can be a season of contrasts, brilliant blooms and lingering cold rainy weather that turns the ground to mud. New growth emerges through the thawing of the earth and softening of decayed matter into mud, mud that nourishes new growth.

Spring feels significant this year because most of us began staying closer to home a year ago in March. Signs of spring may bring reminders of how long this pandemic has lasted.

As we slowed down and settled into a routine closer to home last year, many spoke of feeling a greater connection to nature and the outdoors, particularly to the living world close to home in backyards and neighborhoods. The invitation today is to begin to explore colors, images, textures, sights, smells and sounds of spring.

Practice - Representing Shapes, Colors and Textures of Spring

I invite you today to begin to reflect on the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures of spring. Use color, shape, lines and texture to represent signs of spring you are seeing or anticipating.

Inspiration from Art - Emily Noyes Vanderpoel Color Notes

Emily Noyes Vanderpoel was a painter, collector, art historian and student of color. She published a book, Color Problems in 1902, noting her studies of color and describing color as “the music of light.” You can read more about Emily Noyes Vanderpoel at this link.

One practice from her book is making color notes. These can be abstract or representational as you will see from the examples below. As we begin to look for signs of spring, if representation feels intimidating, you might consider simply recording colors you see - you might use a grid as we did last week or work in a more abstract form similar to these images.

Thank you for being a part of this newsletter community.

Thank you to everyone who has been sharing images and creations.

Please feel free to share anything you are noticing or creating.

Respond to this email or share on Instagram with hashtag #papercolorearth

Thanks, Kathryn

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