Amy Huntington | illustration
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Georgia rain

Illustration of raccoon in woods at AIR Serenbe, Georgia Thinking about the critters out in the gentle Georgia rain. This week the peepers were making their presence known, loudly, in vernal pools near the local pond.

I am still getting used to the deep red soil of this area….like the ground has rusted. These chunky-red-barked trees are everywhere too. I expect a lot of them are loblolly pines. The woods are carpeted with their needles. They are used to mulch people’s yards and there are even some bales of needles under my little house.

 

 

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Beech

Illustration of woods at AIR Serenbe, Georgia

 

There are beautiful beech trees here. I love to hear the wind ruffling in the leaves, the winter stragglers. It was cool and clear today and I didn’t hear many birds out here. Plenty of gray squirrels, though. Their tails look a bit threadbare compared to their northern cousins. Probably they don’t need the extra fur in this warmer climate.

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February 1

This month I will be spending time in Georgia. I am honored to be offered a residency fellowship at AIR Serenbe, 30 minutes outside of Atlanta. This Focus Fellowship is generously funded by the Institute for Child Success and Reach Our and Read Carolinas. I will be staying in my own little place in Chattahoochee Hills, working, and at times, sharing with the community there.

My daughter, Carly, drove down with me, which was an adventure in and of itself. She flew home and I spent the next couple of days wandering Atlanta and drawing. This is a painting from yesterday’s wanderings.

My next month of posts will be dedicated to my adventure here. I am scanner-less and wacom-less, so these images will  be photos from my phone.

Thank you to Judy Newman at Scholastic and Emma Dryden, editor extraordinaire, for recommending me, and Air Serenbe for hosting me!

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Fort Jefferson

Watercolor of Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortuga, Florida

The fort was started in 1846 and never completed. It served as a military prison during the civil war. Its most famous prisoner was Dr. Samuel Mudd who set John Wilkes Booth’s leg after he shot President Lincoln. During a severe outbreak of yellow fever at the fort, Mudd cared for the many sick and was eventually pardoned.

It was sprinkling soon after we arrived. We walked the moat that surrounds the fort before going inside. I sat in one of the archways to paint the inner grounds of the six-sided building. Between March and December these little keys host nesting sooty terns and brown noddies… thousands of them. Also brown boobies and roseate terns. We didn’t see any of these, just the ever present frigate birds floating silently above, and the ghosts of desolate prisoners.

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The Keys, Florida

Watercolor of beach at Dry Tortuga, Florida

Took a trip this month to the keys. We spent a day out at the tiny islands of Dry Tortugas, one of the most remote national parks in the country. It’s a two hour ferry ride from Key West, and we spent the day walking around the tiny island… and painting, of course.  The frigate birds are amazing. They don’t seem to ever touch down, just floating above our heads. There is a crocodile living there, though we didn’t see it. They are shy critters. The tiny island is an important stopping place for migrating birds to and from Cuba and South America to the U.S.. During those seasons, all kinds of birds can be found here taking a much needed rest.

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