Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great new book

If you're looking for the perfect gift for the tree hugger in your life, I'd like to make a recommendation. Nancy Ross Hugo and Robert Llewellyn have teamed up again (they also published "Remarkable Trees of VA") to produce an astonishing book called "Seeing Trees." You can order if from Amazon if you can't find it in stores. The photographs are incredible and Nancy's writing is delightful. Be sure to buy one for yourself, too!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My weekend's work

This is a branch of bittersweet that I started at Lara's workshop last weekend. I think I used the wrong side of the paper because it seemed a little softer so the edges of the painting tended to be a bit blurry. I loved the little grapevine tendril that was attached to this specimen.

This is a group of seed pods from the Golden Rain Tree that used to be on the grounds at Kenmore. Unfortunately it had to be taken down so I'm glad I saved these.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Magnolia macrophylla

I took a workshop this weekend with Lara Call Gastinger and painted this Magnolia macrophylla leaf. I've discovered a bit of a passion for botanical art but I did sketch this in my book first. This magnolia is huge. Some of its leaves are about 3 feet long and the blossoms are gigantic. This tree in in the Wilderness Walk at Historic Kenmore Plantation in Fredericksburg, VA (where I work). The tree is surrounded by other huge specimens and has to fight for sunlight. As a result the blossoms are often near the top of the tree and all we can see are the undersides. Last year, one bloomed low enough to see and it knocked me out. The common name for the is the Umbrella Tree and for good reason. It almost seems bizarre. I used watercolor on Fabriano Hot Press paper. The leaf and painting of it are about 16 inches long (tall). I painted it horizontally but when someone turned it during the critique, we all decided it was better this way.