Local Love: Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center

Yesterday, my daughter and I started a new four week class at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center. We heard about it at NH Literacy Day, and the class sounded like it was perfect for us!

Having never been there, or to a class like this, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was not disappointed. The grounds were beautiful, which I did expect. Flowers growing everywhere, birds nests and little critters running about in the woods – my little was loving it!

There were so many kids that we split into two groups, and our group teacher was excellent. So lively and animate with the kids, playing and teaching right to their level. This class was all about the signs of spring, so the activities centered around that.

Doing some serious thinking waiting for story time!

We started off sitting outside for story time.The story was about a peeper frog who woke all the hibernating animals up for spring. Afterwards, we played a game where each kiddo got to pick a frog, and learn it’s call. Then we would hide in the woods making our frog call, and our matching team would seek us out! Then, we’d switch and have to find them.


She picked a peeper frog and was very to happy to make their high pitched peep call!


Hiding behind a big log.

I was happy already – combining hide & seek, outdoor play, and education? Yes! Can my little go to school here all the time?!

Next we moved on to the sparrow nests on the grounds, learning about how they build their nests, and keep their eggs safe. To help the birds build nests, our teacher handed out feathers to the kiddos and had them run into the field flapping their ‘wings’ and then throw the feather as high as they can so the sparrows can come pick them up for their nests.

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My little was a bit sad about having to give up her feather, but once she saw a sparrow nest up close and personal, and could actually see the feathers in the nest, she was fine to leave it for them!

After that we walked to through the flower gardens. My little adores flowers, so she was so excited to stop and smell everything. We ended the class with a flower scavenger hunt. Each kiddo got a card with a flower pictured on it, and had to find it’s match in the flower garden.

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My daughter made sure to let me know that this was her favorite part!

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Had to have a little lie-down while the flower scavenger hunt finished up!

We ended the day back inside having a snack we packed, and letting my little miss play with her new friends. It was such a great time, and I’m so excited for next week’s class which focuses on gardening!


My Open Sketchbook

I wanted to use this post to display some of my own artwork (old and new!), and give you a little insight to me and my art. Lately I’ve been hard at work on commissions for people, as well as some personal portraits of my own. I figured I’d give a little rundown on my history with drawing.

I began drawing when I was 11. I was a rather geeky 11 year old (who turned out to be a rather geeky adult). At that age I was obsessed with Pokemon, Zelda, and especially Sailor Moon. My best friend was really into drawing Pokemon, and I’d always liked drawing, so I started drawing some Sailor Moon characters (my personal favorite – Sailor Venus. She’s still my fave!).

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The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker fanart circa 2003.

Looking back ay my old drawings cracks me up. No sense of proportion, bold outlines – classic stuff. But hey, gotta start somewhere! Sometime during my freshman year in high school I made the switch from drawing anime to drawing more realistic people. I think what prompted me was the Lord of the Rings movies. Me and my buds were heavily into LoTR. Posters covered my walls, I had the action figures. And somewhere along the lines I started drawing my favorite cast members (usually Elijah Wood; he was definitely my celeb crush back then). That progressed to a real enjoyment drawing and capturing people’s expressions in portraits, and I just kept going!

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Elijah Wood, drawn 2003.          Khal Drogo, drawn 2013.
Ten years makes a difference it seems!

I went to art college for one year, and it was amazing. To sum up, I made the decision not to go back for all the wrong reasons, but it all turned out okay in the end. I love the life I have now, and wouldn’t change it for a thing. When my hubby and I decided we wanted a baby, I was just getting back into the swing of art again after taking a rather long hiatus from it after college. While pregnant, I did keep drawing, but close to the end of my pregnancy I stopped completely. Becoming a mom consumed me for the first year of my daughter’s life. And it wasn’t in a bad way. I just couldn’t get enough of my beautiful little girl; I didn’t want to miss a single thing she did, any expression on her face, any sound she made. I drank in every aspect of her. But around her first birthday I began to get restless. Eventually, I realized I needed more than just ‘being a mom’. I needed my own hobbies and activities back. And art was always such a big part of me. So I began drawing again, and haven’t stopped since. I’ve only recently begun sharing my art online again, and opened up commissions. I’m confident enough with my skill again that I’m proud to share it, as opposed to wanting to hide it! FYI, if you’re interested in a commission, check out my Facebook page, Pencil & Paper, or email me at kaylynyman@yahoo.com.

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A just for fun drawing of one of my friends and her son. The second was a piece just for fun too, but the woman loved it so much she bought it from me!

My drawing style doesn’t really follow a specific technique. Unless ‘winging it’ counts as a style, in which case that’s mine. I usually start with the facial features (eyes mainly, but sometime the nose first) and sometimes I start with something else entirely! When it comes to shading, I usually do things pretty routinely (click below image.)

Ian WIPS montage

I usually follow that pattern, but not always. Hair used to be the bane of my existence in the drawing world. It overwhelmed me. So many strands, so much movement; I didn’t know where to begin. Now, I have completely embraced hair. I’ve stopped looking at it as a whole, and started viewing it like a face – something to break down into individual pieces and draw. When I draw hair it takes on more of a graphical quality than an ultra realistic one, but I like it. It’s nice to now enjoy something I used to loathe – such an accomplished feeling!

Hair like this would have crushed me a couple years ago. Now, it’s a challenge that I love finishing!

Nowadays I use drawing as a way to relax, but also as a way to challenge myself. Those sound conflicting, but they mesh together well. When I just want to chill and lose myself in art, I’ll grab some tea and work on a piece that isn’t too hard for me. But when I want a challenge I’ll purposely select a reference picture with something I know I’ll find difficult – a clothing texture perhaps, or a difficult pose. It all depends on my mood. Lately, for my personal pieces, I’ve been really picky about references that have expressions I really want to capture. I also think I want to start working more on full body poses instead of just head and shoulders ‘bust’ type portraits.

Why people portraits? I just find the human face fascinating. As different as people are, I find when I’m drawing so many things become similar. The curve of an eye, or lips. The subtleties between each person is what makes them unique – I love to try and capture that. And I love the lines of the face. Profile shots are one of my absolute favorite; the continuous curving line from the top of the forehead all the way down to the neck is just beautiful.

In my spare time I like to oil paint. I’m incredibly slow at it, but I love it!

Some more Legend of Zelda fanart. I started this piece back in 2012, and every few months do a little more work on it. Lately I’ve had no time for painting!

My hubs requested this piece – she’s a character from a game called League of Legends. I haven’t touched it in months. . .I should really get on that!

If you’re an artist, what medium do you favor? And if you’re not as into art, what do you do to unwind, or challenge yourself?

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