Connection & Stewardship by Tina Thieme Brown

When did you first notice a connection to nature?

That instinct to be outside, moving towards summer’s crickets, katydids and places with dense green trees and flowers buzzing with pollinators?

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Studio Tour Chronicles by Tina Thieme Brown

My days are filled watching spring unfold in Barnesville.  The Spring Peepers are calling out in the wetlands, Tree buds are unfurling new tiny new leaves and flowers are just barely blooming.  These seasonal sightings are where I want to stay focused, in my art and daily life.

However, the large 150 year old White Pine that fell next to, and infront of my studio building is also calling for attention.  I have to say goodbye to this beautiful old giant that framed my view of Sugarloaf Mountain, and I have to manage the massive trunk still laying on the ground in the gardens near the studio.   We have had help processing some of the tree, those branches and logs are piled high in our bocce court.  But the rest of the tree is laying there waiting for us to deal with it.

I hope the tree trimmer we called can come soon and mulch a lot of those logs and branches, and help me find a way to leave about 15 feet of trunk where the base of the tree fans out into the root mass.  I have been working to remove the dirt from the roots and base of this old pine... But I know Spring Studio Tour will be upon me in 2 1/2 weeks (April 20), so I must switch to the normal Studio Tour Prep Mode.

That means my days are filled with finishing art projects begun over the last 3 months, finding frames and tagging that art; cleaning up and repairing the studio building, preparing all the gardens for visitors, and hanging the art in the studio.  I try to let that massive tree trunk lay there, work on rebuilding all the gardens beds destroyed when it fell, and enjoy those spring peepers.

Fall color in the Sugarloaf Mountain countryside by Tina Thieme Brown

I love fall.  Most days I walk and bike the rustic roads around Barnesville, watching the subtle color changes in the hedgerows, fields and on Sugarloaf Mountain.  Recently, I biked with Montgomery Countryside Alliance in the 'Ride for the Reserve'.  We were on rustic roads throughout the Ag Reserve, starting out the morning in a misty rain that turned into a sunny afternoon.  As I rode in the changing light, familiar scenes came into view and I kept saying to myself, "I have got to paint this."  

That thought doesn't always turn into a drawing or painting.  Sometimes it is better to soak it up and think of it later when working on a similar landscape drawing or painting.  I love to watch the colors changing on the hillsides and in the agricultural fields.  Then daydream  about how the changing light and temperature are creating this fall tapestry.

Fall colors in Poolesville Soybean fields

Fall colors in Poolesville Soybean fields