Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Drawing Inspiration: Cherry Blossom Hunt Part 1

Posted on: March 31st, 2015 by samdrawsthings 1 Comment

drawing inspiration by Sam Goodlet -

Well, it all happened rather last minute, but I am currently in Japan!  I had been looking for a while at getting out here on a cherry blossom spotting trip.  I should have read these 10 Rookie Mistakes to avoid earlier – leaving it until the last minute isn’t all that easy.  Having kept an eye on forecasts and things to make sure that I went at the right time for the blossom before booking anything meant that nearly the whole of Japan was full on the dates I wanted to go.  The only option at one point looked like the Ritz in Osaka for £1,000 a night…so, er….not an option then.

However, I was lucky enough to find space in a hotel in Nikkō, to the north of Tokyo last week and here I am.

Nikkō is really interesting.  Home to a complex of Buddhist and Shinto shrines, it’s in the foothills of the mountains and the forested slopes remind me so much of scenes from anime films like My Neighbour Tortoro and Wolf Children.  It’s breathtaking and very inspiring.

shrine in Nikko by Sam Goodlet Mountain view in Nikko - Sam Goodlet IMG_4390 IMG_4387

The cherry blossom is in full bloom in Tokyo at the moment (it will be a bit later here in Nikkō), and I got the train in yesterday to explore.  There were signalling problems which meant this was much more of an epic mission than it should have been – 4 hours journey in and 5 hours back, rather than the 2ish it normally is.  Nevertheless, it was awesome and exciting and I can’t wait to go on the hunt for more sakura while I’m here.

I started in Ueno park, which was SO crowded! It was rather wonderful though to see so many people just out to look at beautiful trees… Then I headed to the Sensō-ji temple at Asakusa, which was much quieter, and finished up at the river at Sumida Park with a view of the trees and the super tall Tokyo Skytree building opposite (appropriately illuminated in pretty pink).





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The effects of jetlag are proving rather useful for creativity… It feels a bit like I’m having a wonderful dream…and am doodling lots of ideas and scenes as I go…



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Drawing inspiration: In the woods

Posted on: July 22nd, 2014 by samdrawsthings No Comments

drawing inspiration by Sam Goodlet -

This summer, we went on a short trip to catch up with some friends in Cornwall.  I love it down there – I studied in Falmouth and lived in Penzance for a few years.  We had family connections down there, so I like to think I’m part pixie…

There is an amazing wood near Penzance where I spent some time on my last visit, drinking in that lovely feeling of being in the dappled shade amongst so many different types of trees.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I look at trees.  Lucky enough to have some time in a hammock under a pear tree, I’d look at the branches and find their twisting so beautiful… and look at my arms and worry if they were toned enough!  It was interesting how I couldn’t look at my own body in the same way I looked at the tree.

Then I found this perfect quote from Ram Dass (you can read it in full here) capturing exactly what I’d been thinking.  Why do we bring in judgement when we look at ourselves and other people that just isn’t there when we see a tree?  I never think a tree is too fat, too old, too gnarly….

Ram Dass quote illustration by Sam Goodlet -

What is a tree…?

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 by samdrawsthings No Comments

For the [nature’s footnote] podcast I’ve been reading White Beech: The Rainforest Years by Germaine Greer, published by Bloomsbury.  You can hear the podcast here.

The book blew my mind a little bit, and really challenged how I thought about trees.  Germaine’s sister is a botanist, there is quite a lot of detail about different species, the challenges of identifying them and some of the history of their discovery and naming.  She also discusses the problems that non-native, invasive species cause.

Here are a couple of illustrations inspired by the book…

what is a tree anyway

Reading white beech



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