Were I not an artist, most likely I would be a botanist. Perhaps I can be both. The geometry and patterns of plants intrigue me. The closer I look, the more fascinated I become. There exist infinite patterns, textures and designs that have basic geometry as a starting point. I am embarrassed to admit that I returned home from the California Coast with close to 6,000 photo images, most of which reference the various stages and growth patterns of wildflowers, grasses and trees. I wonder if thirty more years of painting will be enough. I doubt it.
Attempting to pack light, I brought only a small pamphlet to help me identify the various trees along the coast. To choose between the Red Alder and the Mountain Alder I had to determine whether the leaf was rolled under along the VERY edge. Sorry…. my leaf wasn’t perfectly flat, but I certainly wouldn’t have described it as “rolled”.
A leaflet along a plant identification walk turned out to be more of a help than my Pacific Coast Tree Finder pocket manual.
Inspired by Zendala Art, a segmented circle provides an excellent format for exploring design elements and color while scrutinizing unfamiliar botanicals. Though the Cow Parsnips were growing everywhere, only those in one small meadow displayed the bizarre purple, bulbous masses that the leaves and flowers erupt from. Yellow Poppy seed pods varied in pod length from half an inch all the way up to eight inches!
Miner’s Lettuce was new to me. I adore its saucer-like shape, its green camouflage and its curious stamen. The Miner’s Lettuce and Poppy seed pods add graceful, organic shapes to the more linear, vertical wildflowers and grasses.
Botanical studies: Ink and Watercolor, en plein air botanical sketchbook studies.