As I write, I'm up on Whidbey Island in northwestern Washington, enjoying an early fall and changing colors. While here, I traveled to Bainbridge Island to visit the Bloedel Reserve. As a botanical artist, there's nothing more exciting than being surrounded by a plethora of new plants. Called a "living work of art," the forest paths of the reserve were a peak experience, as each turn of the way revealed a pond, a sweep of ancient birch or a Japanese garden. Equipped with photographs taken by my husband and I, these images will inform my work for months to come.
I traveled to Whidbey with a box of Art Graf tailor's chalk bars and a bottle of ink. The limitation of color to six autumnal shades forced me to be more inventive and I was attracted to the rhododendrons as subject matter. The way in which the leaves splay out reminds me of crazy daisies, while their stems and branches twist and bend like some kinetic sculpture.
Rusty drawing skills nudged me to cut up the first couple of drawings into smaller pieces of paper just to see what would happen. When I looked at some of the pieces, I was intrigued by the abstract quality that occurs when you only see a part of a leaf or stem. So not blow up a section of a leaf in another drawing to see what happens? It's a work in progress and I'll post more images as I go along.