Brushing Up

I’ve been brushing up on my drawing skills by reading a book that I’ve had since college when I took art classes: The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides. He says, “Loosen up. Relax . . . There are many things in life that you cannot get by a brutal approach. You must invite them.”

Hmmm. . . Do I force bulbs to bloom indoors in winter, or do I invite them to bloom by providing the right conditions? Do I try to force my grandson to eat lunch, or do I invite him? Do I force respect or do I invite it? There are, of course, some areas in life when compliance is enforced. But “there are many things in life that you cannot get by a brutal approach. You must invite them.” So “loosen up. Relax . . .” Maybe I need to brush up on my life skills.

Invite peace and nurture it. Cultivate kindness and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week—a suncatcher:

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Text and photos © 2022 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Detritus: Close Encounters of the Small Kind

I have a friend who sees beauty in the bits of nature that most of us pass by or trample over and sweep away – chips of dry fallen leaves, torn and faded petals, tiny feathers, bits of broken rock, mini-twigs – detritus. I can hear my friend saying detritus with a gleam of passion in her eyes, a love for the detail most of us never even notice. Detritus. She sees beauty in it and draws its intricate patterns slowly, carefully, lovingly with the sharpest pencil lead and the finest-tipped pen. She’s an artist.

A piece of detritus appeared in my kitchen window this week, hanging there like a small suncatcher. When I took a closer look, I saw that it was a leafy lacework more or less the shape of a star a quarter-inch wide. It had ragged, irregular outer edges and framed an open center, a circle evenly trisected by miniscule spokes that made the tiny object look like a star-framed peace symbol. An almost invisible spider-silk holds it in place, and it sways ever so slightly in the breeze. I got the sharpest pencil I could find and drew it. Then I let it be.


Notice the tiny beauties this week. Draw them? Nourish peace, cultivate loving kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature photo of the week – detritus, the real thing:


Shadow of the Week – indoor coffee plant, leaf-on-leaf shadows:


Text and photos © 2016 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.