Following up on the photo in the previous post, I was playing around today with sketching hosta blooms in my sketchbook. Here’s my sketch, in pencil, ink, and colored pencil (title lettering done with the Pentel brush pen):

I have a ways to go before considering myself a botanical artist. This kind of sketching is a challenge for me, because it requires that you see things in such detail. You start to draw a leaf, thinking of it only as a green oval shape, and then you see that, no, the tip is turned up, and you’re seeing two surfaces at once on the same leaf. You start sketching the petals of the bloom, and you realize that they overlap each other in a very particular order. And when you’re sketching from a photo, as I was doing here, you have to mentally translate from a two-dimensional view of the plant to a three-dimensional model in your mind, and then pick which lines and contours you will draw in order to turn in back into a two-dimensional sketch.

A Cyberscribes (see link at right) acquaintance, Bonnie Noehr, recently posted that she was taking summer courses on botanical drawing. I thought this was intriguing, so I asked her for further information. She’s taking her class in Woodside, California (a little far for someone living in New Jersey), but she sent me this link listing classes in a variety of locations. With our first grandchild due any day now, I’m not sure I’ll get around to the classes this year, but it’s one more idea for the “someday” list.

Bonnie, by the way, is a past winner in the Graceful Envelope contest. You can see her winning envelope here.

Deer refugees

Hostas are like deer candy. My mother had dozens of hostas of different varieties in her garden, and the plants around the perimeter of the garden always seemed to get eaten down to nubs by the deer each spring and summer. We’ve had a similar problem here most years; a couple of years ago, though, we got a recommendation for a particular fertilizer that deer supposedly hate, and that seems to be helping. Since the plants are in full bloom now, this morning I felt motivated to capture some pictures of our deer refugees before our luck runs out. Here’s one:

Of course, it may just be that this year, the weather has been so wet that the deer have found plenty to eat in the woods without venturing into our yard – but I’ll continue to hope that we’ve found the answer.