Oh, how beautiful
Rudyard Kipling was so right when he wrote, “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.” Except in this particular garden, that’s exactly what I did. With the sun casting a warm golden light at the close of the day, I sat in the shadow of a large maple tree and surveyed a lovely field of grasses and allium. I had no hand in their planting or care. The only finger I lifted was the one that carried lines and watercolor across this page. An unknown cadre of volunteers made this garden at a local park into a thing of beauty, and they deserve all the credit.
Tips and Techniques– I’ve been thinking a lot about the different ways sketching can help us deepen our understanding and appreciation of nature. Doing a traditional field sketch and recording facts and data is one approach. Another is exploring the poetry of nature. This type of sketch tends to be more evocative, getting at the essence of our subject. I often go looking for what poets have to say and, as with my sketch of alliums, I add part or all of a poem, quote, or phrase to the page. If you keep a nature journal, try a variety of ways to express what you are trying to convey. Our subjects are so much more than a collection of facts.