Bean Update 1 for Spring/Summer 2021

It will be a while before they sprout but the Scarlet Emperor Beans of 2020, the third generation of seeds that began with a packet I bought five years ago, are planted and ready to grow. I planted twelve on the hope that I will find a sunny spot for all of them. And they may not all come up. I do not know “who” they will be this year, but for now they are the “children” of the undaunted Tang Dynasty poets, Li Bai, Tu Fu, Li Ho, Bai Juyi, and Wang Wei.

Just in case this makes NO SENSE TO YOU (understandably because it’s a little mad to name one’s bean plants) here’s what this year’s beans parents were doing last July. Morning Gossip of the Scarlet Emperor Beans.

Meanwhile spring is doing its thing. Ravens and magpies fly by with twigs in their mouths to contribute to the nest. The crocus are blooming and the daffodils are up. Bear’s patch of snow is really gone, but it could snow more and we hope it does. We’re still in drought. Normally by now I’ve got other seeds going, but this year I’m a little behind. It doesn’t matter. I can’t put anything outside until June 1. πŸ™‚

~ ~ ~

Meanwhile I have more drawings to do. Yesterday I drew the Little Snake River. I’ve never illustrated someone else’s book before and I’m enjoying it very much. I “met” the author of the book I’m illustrating here on Word Press a while back, I think 2016. Her blog is Ladder Ranch and shows what’s going on with her ranch in Wyoming. I found it in a search for Livestock Guardian Dogs. She has something like 14 dogs like Bear that work hard to guard her sheep. She lives in one of Wyoming’s most remote and little touristed regions and, strangely, I’ve been through her valley a time or two. It’s a little off the beaten track of my family’s twice-a-year pilgrimage from Denver to Montana, but sometimes my parents liked to go a different way. In the days before the Interstate, any highway was drivable as any other. I was there again as a semi-grownup when the first X was studying at the University of Wyoming in Laramie and took me for my first X-country skiing nightmare I mean adventure. πŸ˜‰

“It is very important for the artist to gauge his position aright, to realize that he has a duty to his art and to himself, that he is not king of the castle but rather a servant of a nobler purpose. He must search deeply into his own soul, develop and tend it, so that his art has something to clothe, and does not remain a glove without a hand. The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.” Kandinsky

25 thoughts on “Bean Update 1 for Spring/Summer 2021

  1. Yay Beans! Another adventure awaits. I hope this next generation does well. Your drawing is so life like – are you drawing from memory or a photograph? There is something so simple and clean about ink drawings IMO. Very appealing. πŸ™‚

    • Drawings are from my imagination, memory and photos combined. This one might as well have been from my memory. Every little western river is a sister, brother or cousin to every other. I have to use photos for most drawings because I’m not the goddess of horse drawings, old buggies, etc. Usually I use a photo to get the sense of things I don’t know anything about. The doctor drawing is from my imagination with a photo of a buggy and horse to help me out. But the book I’m illustrating is about a very specific place so if I can, I try to get a photo. I think I’m getting into the swing of this, but I’m always going to prefer paint. πŸ™‚

      • Fascinating. I’ve wondered how artists start with drawings like this one. I imagine that combining memory, photos, etc. opens up the potential for more creativity…not having to be exact about re-recreating anything. The precise nature of drawing single lines like that must take a lot of concentration. I look forward to seeing more. πŸ™‚

  2. Good luck with the beans — maybe a crop large enough for a meal? And I love this drawing — will look forward to the book when it comes out!

    • I got lots of delicious green beans last summer. Maybe with this many plants I can leave a few to dry so I get enough dried beans to find out how they taste in soup! The trick is going to be a bed large enough for all the plants — but I think I’ll just put tomatoes in containers I can move around to the sun throughout the day. My two big problems are dogs and shade. πŸ™‚

      • I know how difficult small yards can be, with shade issues — the sun dodges other homes in travelling around my small yard and it’s even hard to say when it’s sunny and when shady!

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