Sheep

The noble profile, the slitted eyes, the curls, the baaaaa, the level gaze…

I love drawing sheep.

friendlysheep

This gal caught my eye this summer. When  I went looking for a subject for my cottage postcards I was drawn to her curious face. As in the past, I begin by taping off a grid of small postcards on watercolor paper.

sheep_2

I make a quick sketch in pencil in each window and then use an assembly line approach to add colors.

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Each layer adds detail and the sheep emerges.

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The final touches are gold and silver ink…

sheep_1

and glitter!

sheep_5

Each card is the same but different, a one-of-a-kind love token for the friend who receives a “cottage card.”

If you enjoyed this post, please  follow me here: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, my webpage , my Etsy shop, or Instagram. You can follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

Frog and Salamander Escort

woodfrog

You are invited to attend the

OTTER CREEK AUDUBON SOCIETY

2016 SALAMANDER ESCORT 

On evenings in early spring with the first relatively warm rains, salamanders and frogs move from upland wooded areas to breeding pools to mate and lay eggs. Often these migrations take the amphibians across roads.  At a site in Salisbury, Otter Creek Audubon and the Salisbury Conservation Commission help these amphibians safely reach their destination, collect data on numbers and species, and raise public awareness of these migrations.

kid

a young escort with a Yellow Spotted Salamander

Important Guidelines for Data Gathering:

 Learn how to identify all the amphibians (we will help you on site).

 Make sure of your identification. If in doubt, ask someone with a clipboard. Do not guess.

 Keep track of how many of each species you move and if they are alive or dead.

 Be gentle with the amphibians. Handle as little as possible, preferably with moist hands.

 Release all amphibians off dirt portion of road onto shoulder in direction they were headed.

 Report your numbers to a data recorder with a clipboard before you start losing track.

 Check under and around your car for amphibians when you leave.

 Please approach the site and leave following the directions above to keep from adding to traffic over the crossing site.

 Park outside the crossing area in the designated location.

 Keep your eyes open for other crossing areas on your drive home and let us know if you find any.

redeft_2

We did not escort any Eastern Newts, like this one, but I hope to see them later this spring.

If you enjoyed this post, please  follow me here: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, my webpage , my Etsy shop, or Instagram. You can follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar.

 

 

Día de los Muertos – Day of the Dead

Knowing Dawn for the past year has strengthened my affection for the traditions and rituals of Southwestern culture. For a New England girl, I am strongly attracted to that desert light, color, and imagery.

Enjoy Dawn’s Dia de los Muertos post and I invite you to follow her blog.

Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Pan de muerto - decorated by Wynn Pan de muerto – decorated by Wynn

Calavera masks Calavera masks

‘Tis the season in our family to celebrate Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead. Time to honor loved ones who have passed. Time to lay out a trail of marigold petals for the spirits to follow back home and to the altar. Time to create the altar with photos, foods, drink, and treasures. Our house fills with calaveras (skulls), even more than the usual.

Noé's parents, Amadeo y Manuela Villarreal Noé’s parents, Amadeo y Manuela Villarreal

A time to remember loved ones and the gift of their presence in our lives. Photos of Noé’s parents, both of our grandparents, and dear friends who have passed grace the altar. Noé tells stories of his parents, who raised five children while working as migrant farm workers throughout the U.S.  “No matter where we were working,” Noé says, “and a lot of times we lived in abandoned barns or…

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Ghosts in the Sheetrock

Using only a carpenter’s graphite pencil line and a finger to smudge it, one evening I discovered a little fox face peering out of a mudded, sanded seam in the sheetrock. He said “Hi.”

Hi_2

After him ran a cocky hound with a stubby ear,

ruff

Followed by a bear who ate all the brownies.

brownies_2

Two birds admired each other,

nicebeak

and a stork drank lemonade, while a mouse preferred harder stuff.

vodka

For a brief period my new home progress included vast areas of gray sheetrock and joint compound. Every evening, after the workmen left, I discovered new characters on the walls. Some were rather grumpy.

This fellow’s hat made him feel important,

youdon't say

and this fellow didn’t like his neighbor.

Hi

This gent was more genial–

excellentpoint

He tried to soothe the worrywart.

ohdear

But someone was always suspicious or

themonk

feeling put out,

excuseme

Until Molly appeared and told everyone to

blow

“put your lips together and B L O W !”

Finally I discovered myself, holding my new home in my two, cupped hands.

homesweethome

I can’t wait to go home and enjoy it.

I know all those ghosts are still there, under a fresh coat of Marscapone cream paint.

The Way It Is on The Shortest Day

solsticesheep

The Way It Is

There’s a thread that you follow. It goes among
things that change.  But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

-William Stafford

The Shortest Day

“And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.”

Susan Cooper