Spurred on by “The Kids’ Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences” by Susan Milord I gathered a bag of black walnuts and one of acorns with the kids. Once home I did a little more research and realized that getting to the heart of the black walnut meat is a long and messy process. We gave them to the squirrels for breakfast the next morning and laughed at how noisy they were! I gave up on the acorns too after boiling them probably twenty five times at least and still finding them bitter. I certainly am glad we don’t have to live off the land.
This is a painting of the tree from which we harvested the nuts. I spent quite a while on the sky with different washes, mixing blues and oranges and a bit of payne’s grey here and there. The same night after the sky dried I used a round brush to paint the tree branches and some details of the leaves with black ink. It was my original intent to leave the painting alone but the next day I felt compelled to add more detail and color to the leaves. The result is this pleasing almost Chinese-brushstroke effect. I’m surprised how well it all turned out considering my one-year-old was climbing in and out of my lap (what’s left of it since I’m 37 weeks pregnant) as I finished it up!