Arizona Daily Star caught me sketching

BGMerkle_sketching_Tucson Daily Star (01.01.2015)On New Year’s Day, a reporter from the Arizona Daily Star spotted me sketching in downtown Tucson, AZ. I was working on field sketches for an illustration project about desert bighorn sheep (see details here and here), and needed to depict how far up into the Santa Catalina Mountains housing developments have sprawled. My husband had the brilliant idea to ascend a parking garage in order to gain the right vantage point.

It had snowed overnight, making for a crisply cool morning and lots of extraordinary photos before I set out sketching. The snow is what brought that photojournalist up to the top of the very same parking garage. That’s where he noticed me sketching mountains, a sea of houses, and a particularly bold cactus wren.

20150101_Tucson parking garage (27)_c_cr


Drawn to Quebec: an illustrated newspaper column

Drawn to Quebec banner (07.2014)_v6 I’m delighted to announce that my illustrated column, Drawn to Quebec,  has been nominated for a provincial ‘Best Column Writing’ award! Scroll to the bottom for links to all the articles in the series, or keep reading to see what the nomination, from the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph‘s editorial team, says: D2Q_Vineyard to Sante_QCT (12.17.2014)_5 “Bethann’s illustrated column, Drawn to Quebec, has been a breath of fresh air for the editorial team and our readership. Specifically, she raised our awareness of issues that we didn’t know. Her extensive knowledge of the natural world, combined with years’ of teaching experience, enable her to write in a conversational fashion, including the readers in her articles by using “we” and “our”. This approach has helped not just our readers, but our staff, feel as though they’re being spoken with (not at), and they’re actively participating in discovery and exploration of Quebec City’s nature/culture overlap. Continue reading “Drawn to Quebec: an illustrated newspaper column”

Resources: Sketching, learning by drawing, and more

Des bateaus et Bassin Louise (10.13.2012)_factory & dry dock_c_sig_rsCross-posted at Advancing EcoComm

*This list is dynamic, and in-development. Feel free to make suggestions (use the comments section or contact me directly) re additional resources and great examples that should be included.



Continue reading “Resources: Sketching, learning by drawing, and more”

Dear Digit: How can I send professional-looking emails without breaking the bank?

Dear Digit sketch_5Click here to submit your questions and tips!

“Dear Digit, I keep receiving professional-looking email newsletters, updates, and offers, and would love to send emails that look that great. But, I’m not a designer or a computer programmer, and I don’t have the budget to hire one. Is there anything I can do?” 

Most likely, the emails you receive that look fabulously designed are created on Email Service Provider (ESP) platforms such as Constant Contact and MailChimp. Systems like these offer a host of benefits while still being budget-friendly.

For those of us working in the arts world, one of the primary attractions is the suite of professionally designed templates which you can customize and adapt to suit. You can also set up different mailing lists, or divide mailing lists into subcategories based on the specific topics in which people are interested. Continue reading “Dear Digit: How can I send professional-looking emails without breaking the bank?”

Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph reports on nature sketching workshop

Drawn to natural history_QCT_screenshot (09.17.2014)
Click image to view article.

One of the participants in a recent “how to sketch nature” workshop I led turned out to be a journalist from the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph. As she reports in the article:

“Participants went from blind sketching (we weren’t allowed to look at our drawing or lift pencil from paper while looking at the object we were trying to draw – a leaf, an acorn, a wine glass), to tracing, “frottage” (rubbing), and shadow drawing, and by the end of the evening we had all succeeded in producing pretty decent representations of the objects we had chosen to depict.