Too Many Mushrooms // an art dump

Last summer, I spent too much time by myself and subsequently fried my brain.

Mom was in Canada for several months helping Anna with the baby. Dad was at work. I was in between jobs, writing a novel, and maintaining an internet fast until Mom’s return. For two months, I spent the majority of my time completely alone — the introvert’s ultimate habitat.

While the silence was in many ways heavenly, after a few weeks, I found myself having one too many staring contests with the void. The Void looked inside me and I looked inside the Void. From this dark and esoteric connection, strange obsessions were born.

Namely, mushrooms.

Why mushrooms, you ask? I have no idea. I saw one in my yard one morning and was seized by the desperate and all-consuming need to know its name in Latin. I’ve been spiraling ever since. Every kind of mushroom. Not to eat, mind you. Just to look at. And know the names in Latin.

But as time wore on, Latin wasn’t enough. I wanted to pour more of myself into the mushroom obsession. (Also, I was bored.) So I did what any obsessive, mentally-unstable (and bored) hermit would do:

Dad came home to find his daughter hunched over the table, cackling like a hobgoblin. He peered suspiciously at the labor of my hands.

“…aren’t those poisonous?”

“THEY’RE CALLED GALERINA MARGINATA,” I screeched. “ALSO KNOWN AS FUNERAL BELLS, AND THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.”

“So they’ll kill you if you eat them.”

“Technically, eating a tree would do the same.”

It didn’t end there.

Amanita Verna.” I beamed. “Destroying Angel.”

“You’re painting murder plants,” he said, still not convinced.

“I once painted a murder dragon and no one blinked an eye.”

“…you’re still painting murder plants.”

Craterellus cornucopioides. Death Trumpets. Believe it or not, they aren’t poisonous! They have a smoky, rich flavor and a pleasant, fruity aroma.”

He blinked slowly. “I’m not going to ask how you know that.”

Amanita Frostiana. I ended up finding one the next week and felt superior in my knowledge that it would eat my liver if given the chance.

But mushrooms aren’t all I’ve devoted my artistic wrath towards over the last year. In a wild shift of aesthetics, we also have…

CLOUDS!!

Before you yell at me about destroying a book for the sake of art, let it be known I used a copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that was already dead. The cover had fallen off and several of the pages were torn. I found it at a thrift store for twenty-five cents and in a burst of noble intentions, decided to give it a good afterlife.

More clouds. More dead books.

After this small digression into the world of aesthetic cloud paintings, guess what?

MORE MUSHROOMS!!!

This is a little something I drew for Stop the Rain by Kassie Angle, which made me feel every single emotion and then some.

Did I paint this for 4th of July 2021? Yes I did. Did I remember to post it? No I did not. Does it remain the most spectacular thing I’ve ever painted? Probably.

Aaaaaand we’re back to cloud paintings.

This is part of a portrait study I did over the summer. I found some random face claims on Pinterest with dramatic lighting and used them to practice values. I’m not completely satisfied with how this one turned out, but hey, I like her nose. That’s half the battle.

Lighting Study #2. I like the softness of this one.

Lighting Study #3, AKA my favorite. Do you know why he’s my favorite? Because of how his shirt turned out. Artists hyperfixate on strange things and this is mine.

Speaking of hyperfixation…

By golly, look at that. More mushrooms. More dead book poetry. I cannot be stopped.

A smattering of sketch requests (in various stages of completion) people sent me on social media.

Mini paintings are fun.

I don’t use markers very often, so breaking out of my boring watercolor/acrylic/graphite groove was a shock for everyone involved. Not least because of all the things I could have used the markers to draw, I chose pie. I actually hate pie.

Do not let the simplicity of this piece deceive you; all together it took a whopping 15 hours to complete, at the end of which I’d lost a few fistfuls of hair and several nights of sleep.

This feels appropriate to end with. While hot-gluing moss onto a picture frame may not constitute as “traditional” art, I still felt like a genius while doing it. (Not to mention the mushrooms. I hope you noticed those.) But now that it’s actually finished, I have no idea what to frame in it.

Guys– I need suggestions.

What kind of painting would be worthy of the magical fairy moss frame?

Anyway, that’s all for now, folks. Hope you enjoyed this outpouring of artistic chaos! Believe it or not, this is only a fraction of what I did in 2021, but I don’t want to cram everything into one post, so you’ll have to wait for the rest. I’m stingy like that. Let me know what your favorite is, and any/all requests and suggestions for what you’d like to see more of!

~Sarah

64 thoughts on “Too Many Mushrooms // an art dump

  1. This.
    This is my favorite thing right now. πŸ’›
    The cloud paintings and water color portraits are GORGEOUS. And the mushrooms are just delightful! (My 7yo brother walked up, saw the mushroom paintings, said, “OOH!! YUM!! …Just kidding.” And walked away… I think it was a compliment.)
    HARLEY!! That drawing made me so happy and sad at the same time. I love it! πŸ˜­πŸ’™
    And the frame is wonderful, and just feels so transportive. I feel like it needs a woodland-y, maybe slightly dark piece of art…
    Also, the patriotic art!! Okay, I’ll stop, but you should know that this art dump made my day a bit brighter. (:

    Like

    1. Your little brother sounds hilarious. XD

      I love how the comments of this post are strictly divided between those who Understand the Harley picture and those who have no idea. Harley is a sad bean and he needs love. 😭

      Also, I love that thought… I can almost picture like some glowing, ghostly maiden surrounded by a dark forest. Hmm.

      Like

  2. The cloud paintings are gorgeous!! Do you have any tips on drawing/painting clouds? They’re one of my favorite aspects of nature to observe and I’d love to get better at bringing them to life πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was actually thinking about doing a few (sarcastic but still somewhat helpful) art walk-throughs at some point, and clouds are first on my list, so stay tuned. πŸ˜‰

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  3. AAAHHH this made my day! I absolutely loved the aesthetic cloud paintings. 😍 So peaceful and poetic and gorgeous

    But those mushrooms had a great aesthetic of their own!! Idk what it is about mushrooms that makes them so enticing…but you did such a great job capturing their…magical bulbousness XD

    I adored the one you painted for 4th of July. I literally stared at it for several full minutes. ❀

    …oh and the first idea that popped into my head for that EPIC frame…was a dark painting of this mushroom obsessed fairy queen (like, mushrooms in her hair, fists, and dress) who may or may not live in a swamp…

    Like

  4. When I tell you my heart beat faster and my breath sped up when I saw an email with the beautiful words β€˜art dump’ that is no lie πŸ˜‚
    All of your mushrooms are adorable! Such cutesy little life-stealers. πŸ₯Ί
    I adore the Fourth of July art but Bucky Barnes was and always will be my favorite. *swoons* πŸ₯°

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      1. Yes… my poor boy deserves everything… AND YET GETS SO LITTLE 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

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  5. Ahem. Sarah. There is only one possible thing you could ever put in that frame.
    .
    .
    .
    .

    πŸ„
    Could it be anything else?? 😝

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  6. You drew THAT scene in Stop the Rain!!! Also, what stunning eyes and fabric in your portraits! And you drew Bucky!!! It’s all awesome. As far as suggestions/requests, I’d love to see more Bucky. πŸ˜€ And maybe Corban and Maysen from O to be Like Thee? All of your art in this post is lovely!

    Like

    1. What can I say. I have a weakness for sad child-soldiers being unintentionally adopted by older dad-figure soldiers and subsequently passing out on their sofas.

      “More Bucky” will always a fabulous suggestion. I approve.

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  7. I actually kind of hyper fixated on clouds this past summer, too, except that ended up with me craning my neck every time I commuted to and from work and taking a lot of pictures. πŸ˜‚ But like!! In my defence, they looked cool πŸ˜‚

    Love all the mushroom info, by the way; that was epic.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t believe that of all the summer-y living creatures at your disposal, mushrooms were the ones to infest your artistic brain. They ARE amazing, though. Even if some “would [gladly] eat my liver if given the chance”!

    And I agree with you 100% that Lighting Study #3 has the most perfect shirt. It’s beautiful πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I LOVE YOUR ART SO MUCH! That dead book poetry is awesome! And the CLOUDS! You should sell those.

    I think you should paint a hobbit scene for that picture frame. Or a quote from the song “The Moss” which you should definitely listen to.

    Like

    1. THANK YOU! And listen, okay, I looked up that song, and I’m just… blown away by the tremendous amount of vibes. The blend of nursery rhyme, whimsy, fairy tale, and slightly sinister undertones were fabulous. 10/10 deserves a magical moss frame.

      Like

  10. Good grief. A favorite?? All the mushrooms and all the cloud-and-poetry art and all the people’s eyes are my favorite, because WOW. You. Do. Eyes. So. Well. They look so alive.

    But seriously, wow. You had a prolific art year (esp. considering this is only a fraction O.o). It’s stunning to look at these. And I can’t get over how accurately you capture not only the face shapes but the expressionsss of your mini character portraits.

    Like

    1. EYES ARE MY FAVORITE. Even if the second one is practically impossible.

      The hilarious part is that almost all my art happened in those two months when I dropped off the face of the world. It was the weirdest in-between time because I was so darn productive. XD

      Like

      1. HA, I remember that, from when I used to draw (which I did, once upon a time). The second one would neverrrr turn out right in relation to the first one.

        Well hey, three cheers for productive off-the-face-of-the-earth time! That’s awesome.

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  11. Is it possible to die of too much beauty?

    If so, *dies*

    Sarah, seriously, I AM OBSESSED WITH YOUR ART YOU ARE AMAZING TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hmm…I’ve got steps 2 and 3 down pat already…looks like I’m halfway there!

        Seriously, though, I do need to practice more. How long have you been arting? (Not a word, but who cares?)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve been arting (it deserves to be a word) all my life, but I began to seriously practice when I was maybe 12 or 13, which was… almost 10 years ago, now that I think about it. Scary. As far as studying and practicing actual techniques, that’s been within the last 6 years.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. I love your art so so much, Sarah! It always inspired me because GOODNESS GRACIOUS HOW AMAZING?!
    I also absolutely love looking at and painting mushrooms but don’t particularly like eating them.
    Your cloud paintings are so lovely and dreamy. My favorite of the poems is the second cloud painting one. It fits the aesthetic wonderfully too.
    I am astonished at your portraits, especially the watercolor ones, and especially the last one. (The shirt is perfection.) Now I want to paint a watercolor portrait.
    The 15 hr. flower painting is quite pleasing to look at. I always thought those would be fun to paint, but apparently it was a bit more agonizing than expected.
    As for your magical moss frame, you could of course paint a mushroom. But the first thing that came to mind was a fairy. That would work too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This, coming from such a phenomenal artist, truly warms my soul. 😊

      Honestly the longest part about the flower painting was drawing the lines. The actual painting process was maybe half-an-hour, but the LINES, man. There were so manyyy….

      Ooh, that immediately made me picture a Cicely Mary Barker illustration of a flower fairy, which now that I think about it, would honestly fit so well.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Unpopular opinion: you should put a picture of yourself in the frame. Maybe one with one of your swords, to look rustic/medieval-like. Someone above also suggested a mirror, which I also 100% support.
    Your art dumps are always fantastic! I loved all the mushroom-cloud-poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow, Sarah! I love all the artwork! And that frame is gorgeous! I love decorating boxes but I never thought of trying that before with a frame (thanks! Now I feel inspired for Mother’s Day gifts this year Lol.)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. How did I miss this post?? I love all of these amazing pieces of art, but it really made my day to see a sketch of Bucky Barnes. I’d love to see it completed *hint-hint* πŸ˜‰

    Like

  16. MUSHROOMS.

    (Have you read Skyward? ‘Cause M-bot would become your best friend as soon as he saw those beautiful mushrooms XD)

    Like

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