I’m featuring two kinds of experiments in this post: botanical and silverpoint.
I am experimenting with botanical work. I don’t claim the title “botanical artist” because I respectfully reserve that for artists who have gone through rigorous botanical training. However, I love painting and drawing plants.
I am also fascinated by the ancient technique of silverpoint. Recently I have been I experimenting in order to discover how to use this sensitive, delicate medium.
These Romanesco Broccoli, so oddly attractive, seemed to call out for special handling.
I bought them at the South Anchorage (Alaska) Farmers’ Market. Cruciferous vegetables such as these grow plentifully in Alaska. Alas, I could not find examples with their leaves still attached. I have drawn with silver wire on a sulfite paper called “Plike”, which yields a darker line than traditionally prepared silverpoint ground.
Fireweed grows wild all over Alaska.
It’s called fireweed because it is the first plant to pop up after a forest fire. In summer, Fireweed is green, straight, and topped with magenta flowers. It looks glorious, covering acres of once charred ground.
As this watercolor shows, fireweed in September is something else entirely. I love its Rococo qualities, with all its gracefully curving, wildly variegated leaves, and its topknot of seed pods, ready to send out silky white floaters.
September Fireweed, watercolor on paper, 16″w x 20″h
Here is another work in silverpoint, and another photo for my series How It Looks in a Frame:.Blackcap Chickadee Nest, silverpoint on prepared paper. I love the ghostly grey of silverpoint. Its subtle shine seemed perfect for rendering the delicate strands of this little nest.
Being a working artist has its joys and challenges, but, through it all, your support and encouragement sustain me. Thank you so much for being my audience.