Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Detour

Several months ago, on a day when it was too cold to work outside in my backyard mosaic studio, I needed something art-related to do and dug out some botanical drawings that I had started a few years ago. There was a whole stack of them. I loved drawing in college, and used to carry a sketchbook in my pack whenever I took a walk, which was often. For a couple of years I kept an almost-daily journal (it started after I read Thoreau, naturally) and occasionally I'd make a little drawing of something interesting, like a gnarled tree. (No digital cameras or cellphones in those days!) I loved following the lines of things, and a lot of my artwork at the time explored the expression of lines.

So these "botanicals" were just drawings of interesting-looking plants and flowers that I found in some gardening books from my shelves. Then I was inspired to get out a set of watercolor pencils and start playing with washes, and using salt and alcohol and various brushes to get different effects. The color washes started to remind me of the beautiful galaxies and nebulae I'd seen in photos from space telescopes.

Before I knew it, I had more than a dozen finished watercolors. I had to give them made-up names in some cases, because I hadn't written down what their true horticultural names were when I first drew them, couldn't remember what book I found them in, and didn't recognize them once I was done! But I posted them on my website anyway, and lo and behold, people who see them are liking them. I'm moved, and honored. Here are a few samples:
 

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