Nature Journaling

Northern California Wildflowers in Napa @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

Ever since I moved to California, my yearning to be close to nature has grown immensely.  Even when we lived in metropolitan Los Angeles, I always found a way to be close to nature.  My day usually starts with spending some time with the plants.  I love to photograph the local parks just as much as I love to photograph the grand scenes of the California landscapes.

 

Please Click on the image thumbnails to see the photos and read the captions.

 

 

While I tend to the garden, I come across beautifully mottled leaves, an occasional green acorn, a knobbly branch, or even a piece of old rosewood.  Since I always have a camera on me, it’s easy to pause from garden work for a few photos.  I suppose I have always used photography to record the little things around me.

 

 

Nature Journal handbound watercolor book @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I have a dedicated Canson book that I use for painting flowers and leaves and such,  but it’s too large to carry around all the time. 

That changed when I started making my own books.   Of the two books I made for nature journalling, I am keeping one for myself.  I am giving the other one away along with the little artist colour paint kit ( valued at $45- ) as a thank you.

 

 

Nature Journal handbound watercolor book @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

A little bit about my books – I am more than a little picky about paper.  I use only very high quality artist-grade paper for my watercolour books.  I hand stitch them the traditional way with special thread, then additionally use glue and other methods to secure the spine.  The end papers are made with card stock and the book is finished by encasing it in a cover made with high quality book cloth.

 

The Giveaway has now ended.

 

 

 

Northern California wildflowers at local park in Napa @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I am thinking about taking my book to the parks around here.  They are full of trees and during the months of March and April, the whole place is dotted with beautiful wild flowers.  Soon afterwards, everything turns into straw from the harsh California summer, but for those few weeks, it is just wonderful to get close to the ground and find these little gems even if it means getting mud and dirt all over my clothes.

 

 

I have gotten requests for adding photos as cards to my shop.   I couldn’t think of a better way to start than by adding a set of sweet little wild flower photos that I have taken around here.

 

Shooting Stars wildflowers in Napa California Greeting Card @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

Purchase Dancing Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars happily dancing with each other

 

 

Sweet Pea wildflowers in Napa California Greeting Card @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

Purchase Wild Sweet Pea

Little wild sweet pea flowers saying hello

 

 

wildflowers in Napa California Greeting Card @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

Purchase Wildflowers Fairy Grove

Where fairies roam

 

 

Common Vetch wildflowers in Napa California Greeting Card @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

Purchase Butterfly Flower Vetch

The Common Vetch posing as a butterfly

 

I hope you like this set.   I print them on quality paper with archival ink as art print greeting cards.  They can be framed in a standard 5″ x 7″ frame.  You can find the cards here in my shop.  Let me know which one is your favourite.

 

 

Good luck to each one of you for the giveaway.  My heartfelt thanks for visiting me and leaving such wonderful, encouraging words, and also for continuing to purchase from my shop. Each sale is very special to me because it enables me to make donations to my favourite shelters and humane societies. 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget,  Wandering Camera is at the end of the month, 26th of August.  An Art & Photography linky party!

Until then,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.   Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

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Silver Lining

 Tafoni Salt Point Sonoma Coastline by Soma Acharya inktorrents.com

 

We were going to go on a secluded, completely self-sustained and therefore safe cabin adventure in the Sierra mountains for a few days. A couple of days before our departure, the National Forest Service had to close down all the areas under its jurisdiction due to the continuous massive wildfires raging in and around the state of California.  Not only was our cabin located in one of those areas, the air quality there had become acutely hazardous and remains that way even today.

 

 

 

 

 

Not to be put off and eager to see my beautiful state again after months of being at home, I spent the next 12+ hours poring over maps, books and websites, trying in vain to find another safe venue.  Eventually, instead of forcing the matter, I decided to stay home and turn my attention to areas that are closer by for one or two day trips.

 

 

 

Tafoni Salt Point Sonoma Coastline by Soma Acharya inktorrents.com

 

 

The very next morning, we woke up to an eerie orange sky from another large wildfire north of us.  The wind flow kept the ash in the upper atmosphere.  That kept the air quality moderate enough for us to be outside for limited amounts of time.  My husband and I drove out to the coast toward a place we had not been to before, in search of a rock formation called Tafoni.

 

 

 Tafoni Salt Point Sonoma Coastline by Soma Acharya inktorrents.com

 

 

We drove through coastal mountains covered in low marine fog, while the treetops peeked over the haze.  The orange haze, however, was a constant reminder of the acrid air outside.

 

 

 

 

Please click on the images for a larger view

 

 

With the sun lost above the ash-laden sky, light was failing fast, even though we were nowhere near the time of sunset.   When we got there, I decided to look for Tafoni close by instead of walking out on a trail.  Fortunately, I readily found a cliff face very close by, after just a couple of minutes of walking. 

 

 

 

Tafoni Salt Point Sonoma Coastline by Soma Acharya inktorrents.com

 

 

Despite the murky sky, the area was beautiful, framed by the crashing waves on one side and nature’s artwork of Tafoni on the other.  Listening to the ocean had a wonderful healing effect on the mind.  As it was getting dark and I started developing a headache as air quality worsened, we had to pull ourselves away for the journey back home.

 

 

 

 

Storyboarding my most favourite Middle Earth lore for a minibook

 

 

We did manage to go on one more very tiny outing close to our home before it became really bad outside.  So I stayed at home and travelled though playing in my sketchbook during the rest of our time off.

 

You know how much I love the Sierra mountains, and I have always gone there for comfort.  This year I needed to be there more than ever, but I felt very lucky to have been able to visit this beautiful place close to home.  I hope to go back there soon and venture onto more trails.

 

Until next time,
-Soma

 

 
I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them.  I have joined a few new ones recently and they are a wonderful bunch!

 

 

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