The first is my favorite, painted with blue and white gouache. The second is a watercolor painting of the same bunch of flowers. The third is also blue gouache, I think. I like the contrast between the massive bulb and the skinny little roots.
This summer I ran an Art & Nature Journaling workshop at the arboretum here in town. One (of the many!) highlights involved preserving a butterfly that one of the girls had found on the ground in a parking lot. It’s wings were stiff and closed up, so we put it between wet paper towels until it softened, then very gently spread it’s wings. We used tracing paper to hold the wings down and then secured them in place by pinning around them. We let it dry overnight. The next day when we unpinned it, the butterfly held it’s position - wings open. Beautiful. We lay it in a flat box to later be glued into for display.
I live in a small town where we're lucky enough to have our own arboretum. It's a peaceful, beautiful spot to take walks, go fishing, or have a picnic. There's rarely more than a handful of people there at a time, so it truly feels like a retreat, just minutes from the center of town.
Currently, the arboretum is attempting to raise enough funds to build an environmental education building. To show my support, I offered to make a print that can be given to people in exchange for a donation to the building fund. Although I normally make woodcut prints, I thought it would be neat to make a print from some of the plants that grow in the arboretum. Here are some photos I took while collecting and printing the clippings.
After making prints of the leaves and flowers, I scanned them and arranged them into this mandala design. Although nothing compares to the peaceful feeling gained from spending time in nature, this print can act as a reminder that nature awaits!
If you live locally (Northern NJ) and would like to make a donation to the arboretum's environmental education building fund, you can find this signed, limited edition print at The Curious Reader on Rock Road in Glen Rock, NJ.