Sunday, January 31, 2010

Elfin Saddles

There are quite a few Helvella crispa, also quaintly known as Elfin Saddles, fruiting around some Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) at Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. I've made several attempts to draw or paint them, all thwarted, until now.

The first time, nearly a week ago, a dog came up the hill where the fungi are fruiting and where I was drawing with my dog, Chloe keeping watch. Chloe got a bit territorial but I had managed to settle both dogs down nicely when the dog's human arrived and began doing a complicated dance right over the fungi as she tried to capture the dog, who wasn't interested in being captured. Both dog and human were neatly missing the fungi, but when I asked her, calmly and quietly, to try not to step on them down her foot came, right smack on the fungi. Sigh.

The next time I thought I'd try to work on my watercolor skills, or lack thereof. It began to rain. I learned that misty rain makes a very nice texture in damp watercolors. Big blops of rain do not.

A couple of days later the rain stopped and I went back. This time I decided to stick with the tried and true and began work on a ball point pen sketch. I really shouldn't have had that large cup of cocoa before leaving. I packed up my half finished sketch and went home envious of the ease with which men can relieve themselves in nearly public places. Grrr. I brought a couple of the fungi with me to paint in more detail. The first two are monochrome and the one on the right shows the actual colors of the helvella. Today I finished the  ball point pen sketch from memory.

Who says you have to travel to find adventure?


  1. Very beautiful drawings Debbie, you have such patience - including with those who trample your mushrooms!

  2. Wonderful drawings! I keep picturing you on the ground getting close enough to see these treasures.

  3. Hi Debbie,

    I've become very fond of checking in here to see what you have been up to. You have such a good touch with the mushrooms and I love your text.

    I photographed a very tender shelf mushroom yesterday. It had such sutle colors and looked so delicate. Maybe I'll dare to try to paint it.

  4. Very wonderful! I hope you are havoing one helvella good time!..(groan)