Drawing from Nature

March is greeting us today with mild temperatures, sunshine, and the tulip and daffodil bulbs are peering from the quiet ground. Over the weekend I was looking through my photo archives, thinking about the coming spring and recalling that last March I was in the throws of finishing projects for Water Paper Paint. And this particular one, Botanical Painting: Drawing from Nature has been in my thoughts lately. So I thought I'd show you a few snaps of its process.
When I first started drawing the piece I was looking at botanical engravings commissioned by Giovanni Battista Ferrari, (scroll down to Nurnbergische Hesperides, the ones with the lemons). The giant fruits hovering over city scenes and landscapes, and the baroque ribbons intrigued me. I liked the idea of including other ideas and scenes around the flora and drew patterns along the margins of the paper. As a way to portray a scene or story from my own every day, I wrote "Sunday afternoon, he dug up a couple tulip bulbs that had been forgotten". The combined imagery and writing reflects my interest in conveying ideas that occur throughout the working process and suggest the process itself. Sometimes the images are congruent with one another and at times introduce a different notion entirely, one that may give the viewer something to ponder. At least, that is my hope.
You can see another view of the piece as it was in process here.