My favourite tree, in spring

The budding of trees is especially sweet this year because spring has been unseasonably cold. Everything seems a bit late but it’s time to get out and sketch, even if it’s from my car.

This morning I was looking for a sketching spot to test something out (more about that later) and I settled on a parking lot with a view of my favourite tree. I don’t know why I’ve never painted this tree in spring, considering that I’ve sketched it almost every autumn for the past eight years. It could be because spring has traditionally been a busier time for me at school. Or because I never noticed just how special it is in spring when the pale green buds are just starting to open.

I was testing out some equipment for an Instagram demo that I’ll be doing with my friend Suhita on Tuesday. We’re going to try something a little bit crazy: live car sketching. She’ll be working from her car in San Jose, California, and I’ll be sketching from my car in Montreal. We’ve both figured out how to clamp our phones to something inside the car, and fingers crossed that this works. If there are technical issues, we’ve decided we’ll bail after 15 minutes. If you are interested in hearing us chat and draw, tune in on Tuesday, May 12 at 2 pm EDT or 11 am PDT. You can find us by searching under the hashtags @suhitasketch and @sharisketcher and clicking on the little circle at the top of the feed where all the stories are.

9 Comments on “My favourite tree, in spring”

  1. joani1 says:



  2. Chris Rusk says:

    Really nice budding – your strokes seem to encourage spring/summer to come into play, even faster.


  3. Pastor Cathy says:

    My favourite tree, in spring


  4. Yvonne Carpenter says:

    Shari, I really enjoyed you Sketching Structure in the Garden class. And will be doing another version of that scene soon to try some different paints/mixes. I was talking about it with a friend that also took the class, and I said “I wish Shari would do a class from her car, as she sketches in her car all the time in the winter and that relates more closely to conventional urban sketching – you are out there in the element, with limited time and supplies and cannot afford sitting for 30+ minutes waiting for layers to dry!” We both really liked the paint methodology of the class, but it is difficult to apply it on location (and the class was not meant to show that!). It appears my wish was granted 🙂 I will join for sure and watch you guys chat and sketch from your cars – that should be a thing “C&S” (Chat&Sketch!!), lol!


    • Yvonne, thanks for the great feedback. My intention with my new teaching website has always been to have a mix of studio and plein air classes. Obviously I can’t film outdoors when it’s cold out, but it’s almost summer so there will be some new outdoor ones soon. We also wanted to film some travel ones but Covid has taken care of that so they will all be local! Look out for more soon.


  5. joantav says:

    Pretty tree! I hope you will paint it when the buds open too. The live car sketching sounds like fun to try to video. Would love to see that happen, but I’m fairly sure I won’t be free. I hope you will do a post on how it went. Will you be able to record it too?


  6. Nice painting, you really got a sense of the leaves just coming out. Did you use gouache, your colours look very opaque but it looks very good for this kind of painting.


  7. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear Shari,

    Very beautiful tree and very appreciated.
    Your sign boards on the roads is always stands significant.

    And for your information 🙂 the man taking his pet for a walk is me and Miss Amber:)
    That image is really awesome.



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