Friday, March 16, 2018

Echinacea Project




Getting back into my creative flow after a busy autumn and Christmas, and I have many projects still in progress but which I look forward to sharing soon. I take too much time to plan everything in my life and these first botanical projects were very important to me and although I didn't obsess with perfection, I did struggle with many decisions about my process and defining it, even though I know it will evolve. I also needed to become more familiar with Facebook and Instagram for business as well as learning more about managing an Etsy shop. These things take an enormous amount of time, at least for me, to understand and learn how to operate and I have only made baby steps but that's ok. I have learned to accept my slow pace with dignity. Having only one item in my Etsy shop isn't where I wanted to be at this time but I am moving forward with enthusiasm and my business Facebook page and Instagram page will soon be a reality as well.




The flowers for my echinacea project, inspired by my Montreal Echinacea Balcony print, will be in a flat, top view arrangement, with the petals rendered in colour pencils and the flower centres drawn with vector shapes and lines. I will go more into detail about why I love using this mixed technique in a future post. Because of the importance of this flower in nature for pollination and for it's uses in natural healing therapies it has become a more meaningful goal and experience for me to create these flowers. The echinacea's rounded head which appears to be simple in design, is quite complex and challenging to recreate in a drawing. The ray florets of the flower centre grow in a specific spiral pattern well known to biologists and botanists as the golden ratio or Fibonacci sequence. I laboured for many frustrating hours trying to achieve a proportional arrangement which wasn't working for me so I went back to my own photo reference (above) and after careful observation, I realized once again how perfectly imperfect nature is. I drew from my photo reference instead of geometric calculations and everything is coming together now. Check back for the reveal of the completed flower in my next post coming soon :)

Like many creatives, and from my experience as a technical illustrator, I like to do research and become familiar with the subjects I draw not only to benefit my artwork but also to gain knowledge about new things.  Botanical art inspires me to develop my drawing skills further in a new direction but also to gain new knowledge about plants and botany which I know very little about at this time except for some houseplant and basic flowerpot gardening. The diversity and benefits of plant life is infinite and ever-changing and I am truly excited about continuing on this new journey of creating botanical art to enrich my life and hopefully to also to give back by becoming more involved with conservation and biodiversity projects in my community.

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