Posts Tagged 'natural patterns alphabet'

The Last Letter of my Alphabet

Here it is, the last letter of my Natural Patterns Alphabet Series . . . can we get a drum roll please . . .


“Honeycomb,” 5 x 5 inches, pen and ink, prints available in my shop

Can you believe it? I made it through all 26 letters of the alphabet!!! If you were here in this room with me, it would be one of those New Year’s Eve effects—the flying balloons, the confetti. Seriously! Actually, I didn’t realize how excited I would be until this moment. I was just looking back, and I drew the first piece in this series, Nido, all the way back in May (May 14 to be exact), and when I drew that first one, I didn’t even intend it to become an alphabet series. Alas, the glimmer of an alphabet series I saw that day has come to fruition, and you can see all of the pieces quite nicely, and in alphabetical order, in this flickr set. Here’s a glimpse of them all together:


There’s something so fulfilling about finishing a series of drawings, especially a pretty large one like this (with very specific parameters)—it feels so complete. While there are things I would change, or perfect, about many of the pieces, I’m happy with how they turned out on the whole, specifically how they hang together.

I am most happy though, about all that I learned in the process—each piece was an exercise in seeing—trying to see the essential identifying part of each subject and somehow convey that to you. I learned a lot about the drawing process. I also learned how a series can give you momentum and push you to go further than you would otherwise. If you want to read more about my process through making this series, check out all of my Natural Patterns Alphabet Blog Posts.

My love for series has not diminished, in fact, I have started to think in books for that very reason. The book is the perfect venue for a series. My brain is cooking up many little ones these days. As for this series, I’m hoping to show the entire alphabet in some venue (if you have any ideas, drop me a comment), and I’m also planning to sell print sets of the entire series so that if someone wanted to decorate a room with words and nature, they could. Stay tuned!


The Challenge of X

Well, I did not save the hardest letter for last in my Natural Patterns Alphabet series, I saved it for second to last.


“Xylem,” 5 x 5 inches, pen and ink, prints now available in my shop

The letter X is hands-down the hardest letter in the alphabet—have you looked in the dictionary recently under the letter X? There are really only a couple handfuls of words. I wanted all of the pieces in my Natural Patterns Alphabet to be easily recognizable natural elements, but for X, that just wasn’t possible. So, you will only recognize Xylem if you’re up on plant nerdology.

Xylem is one of two types of transport tissue in vascular plants (the other being phloem), says Wikipedia. Essentially, from my basic understanding, it transports water in the plant. You might be wondering, what is a vascular plant? Why, ferns, clubmosses, flowering plants, conifers and other gymnosperms, of course. Since I would need to spend several hours to try to unravel an entire understanding of xylem, I will now open the floor to any plant nerds out there, if they feel like enlightening us further. I think the xylem may actually be only the large shapes in this pattern, and the smaller shapes are the phloem?

Now back to my kind of nerdology—isn’t the word “xylem” a cool word? I do love x words, perhaps because of their rarity. The word “xylem” comes from the Greek “xylon” which essentially means wood, alluding to this best-known xylem tissue (thanks again Wikipedia). I thought the pattern was quite interesting, reminding me of an anatomy-inspired drawing I did quite some time ago.

This drawing is a little bit different from my other natural patterns, as it is microscopic and pretty abstract, but really it gets to the heart of my interest in natural patterns: the actual patterns themselves. There are so many interesting details in the minutiae of nature—you just have to look.

I is for Ivy

One of those pesky invasive vines creeped its way into my Natural Patterns Alphabet series today:


“Ivy,” 5 x 5 inches, pen and ink, prints available in my shop

Shortly after starting to work on this drawing, I remembered that we have Ivy mobbing a tree and part of the fence in our backyard, so here’s a look at my in-process drawing table:


As I keep saying, I’m pretty excited to be so close to finishing this series—just two more letters left!!! H and the dreaded X. It will be really fun to see them all together once they’re done! If anyone has seen someplace selling a square black frame with a mat with a 5 x 5 inch opening, let me know—it would save me from having to hand-cut mats for all 26 of these drawings.

Closing in on the Alphabet with Yucca

I’m really closing in on my Natural Patterns Alphabet! I only have three drawings left to complete the series, after this new one:


Yucca, 5 x 5 inches, pen and ink, prints available in my shop

Yucca, what a very strange and pokey plant, with an equally strange name. In fact, with my very brief research, the name came from Latin, but is of unknown origin. Hmmm. What an enigma!

I think the most distinctive species of Yucca is the Joshua Tree, but I decided that the pokey spears were the most distinct feature of all species. I would not want to fall on this plant, but it is fun to look at.


Hello, hello. Now I am really back from vacation, as I have a drawing for you today!

Something that I love about being an artist is the opportunity to learn a little about lots of different things. My Natural Patterns Alphabet is a prime example of this—whenever I go to draw a new part of the series, I look up photos and random information about that particular thing.

Today’s drawing of Eucalyptus is a case in point—did you know that the word “eucalyptus” comes from the Greek word “eukalyptos” meaning “well covered?” OK, I’ll stop nerding out! The most interesting thing I realized about this tree is the sheer number of species. It’s ridiculous—the wonderful wikipedia says there are over 700 species!!

In looking at lots of pictures, and having one false start where I thought a tree in my front yard is Eucalyptus (I now know it is actually Callistemon which is in the same Myrtle family as Eucalyptus), I decided that the leaves are the most distinct part of the plant. The flowers are really interesting as well, but they’re all pretty varied, so I stuck with the leaves. Enjoy!


“Eucalyptus,” 5 x 5 inches, pen and ink, prints available in my shop


Here’s a new addition to my Natural Patterns Alphabet:


“Kelp,” 5 x 5 inches, pen and ink, prints available in my shop, see all of them here

I have to admit, I struggled a little with this one—it was hard to fit such a giant and flowing mass into a small square. I want to call it a plant, but I’m not sure that’s correct—I read that kelp is a type of algae, and I thing algae is a separate type of organism from plants? Arrgh, I need to study up on my nature science.

Kelp, the word is as odd as the thing. It sounds very lowly, kind of like the word mud. It was a good challenge for the letter “k” and adds nicely to the other sea creatures I did for the series. I keep wanting to say that I’m closing in on finishing, but in truth, there are still five left, and they’ll have to wait until later this fall, as I will be leaving in just two days for my wedding.


T is for thistle today! Another one for my Natural Patterns Alphabet series:


“Thistle,” 5 x 5 inches, pen and ink, prints available in my shop

You can see all of these prints so far in my Natural Patterns Alphabet Shop Section.

During my drawing, I discovered many wonderful things about the thistle:

1. Don’t you just love the word! Thistle. This is a truly great word, and it sounds as prickly as it is in real life.
2. So many different textures to draw—what fun!
3. It is somewhat of a despised plant in the garden—a weed. It’s fun to admire weeds.
4. The beautiful shape of the plant, with it’s prickly bulb and flowing top.

Nature is as beautiful as ever, even the weeds.

Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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