Owen here! Today I’d like to tell you about my favorite tree.
I live in a rain forest. Not a tropical one. I live in the Pacific Northwest, where high winds, overcast sky, and a near constant drizzle are the norm. My city (Bellingham, Washington) has been cited as having the least amount of sunshine in the US.
Despite the lack of sun, we have wonderful and diverse plant life. Most notable are the pine trees that are simply everywhere. Bellingham is home to a number of parks where visitors can surround themselves with towering conifers. Wandering among sword ferns underneath curvy pine branches, it’s very easy to imagine we have somehow landed in a prehistoric dream.
My favorite tree is a very specific tree that I discovered recently has been taken down. It was some sort of pine, but I can’t get any more specific than that. It sat at the entrance of Cornwall Park, a lovely place in the middle of everything where it isn’t hard to completely block out signs of urban life.
The most special thing about this tree was that, with the help of a neighboring bush, it created a comfortable shaded room. I used to go there with books or art supplies and simply chill. I would listen to the little birds that hopped around overhead. I could also take my glasses off to get a different view. The light shining through the green leaves of the bush glittered like fairy lights – a view that I find is hard to get normally.
Later I will tell you about my second favorite tree.
Feeling stressed out by the holidays? Take some time to chill out with this free coloring page by Owen Wills.
To get it, click on the image below. That will take you to the full sized image you can then download & print. Then all you have to do is get out your favorite coloring implements!
Find more stuff to color at our Free Printables page.
Owen here! I’ve been lucky enough to receive all kinds of advice and lessons about making art over the years, but there is one thing I can point to as the most important: Make friends!
Other artists can point out different ways to do things.
When I have trouble figuring out how to draw something, I will often turn to Tod and ask him to show me how he would do it. I can then take that lesson, practice it, and overcome my problem – much quicker than if I struggled by myself without help. The same thing goes for criticism. If other people point out flaws in my work, then they are solving problems for me.
I’ve saved a ton of time and heartache by having other artists around who can point me in the right direction.
Networking is useful in any group.
It’s important to know people who do similar things to you. They can point out opportunities that you would otherwise have missed. Also, if you make friends who do art, you are likely to meet other artists they know too.
It’s more fun to create together!
I personally have a hard time getting through all my projects if I have to do it all by myself. It’s way too easy to get distracted or disheartened. So I chat with people about art online, and once a week I go to the Bellingham School of Comics, a local art group. It helps immensely.
You get support while slogging through being unhappy with your work.
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t get down in the dumps about their work at some point. I usually get that way after finishing a group of projects. Then for at least a few days, I don’t even know what I’m doing or why.
When this happens, it is invaluable to have other people I can turn to to keep going.
Having simple knotwork that can fill a space is very useful, and it can be very simple (but time consuming!) to do. If you only want to learn a little knotwork, this is one I definitely recommend!
Aon Celtic, a site created by the artist Cari Buziak, is full of other useful stuff. I highly recommend her free downloadable dot paper. Making grids from scratch or modifying graph paper is probably the most tedious part of knotwork!