Tag Archives: plants

Home again………

Well the excitement is over.  The trip to Brazil has happened and is now in the past.  The drawing kit so laboriously assembled was used only once!  However, in my defence, the time was so action packed that I rarely had time to sit down for any length of time to do any drawing.  My eyes were in constant action though, as was my camera, I filled my memory card (note to self: next time take two) and ran down the batteries twice.  What a magnificent country for plant lovers, and I only visited the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Parana & Rio Grande de Sul (please excuse spelling errors).

Highlights of the plants seen:

A Brazil Nut tree – the nuts grow on the trunk (I did not know that).

A Cashew Nut fruit – the nuts grow in the top of the fruit and the fruit smells exquisite and tastes rubbish.

Auricaria Angustifolia (Pinheiro Brasiileiro) – the trees reach the sky and look like lollipops.

Orchids – saw some in Rio Botanical Garden, they had sort of left me cold before, but there were some stonkers here.

A row of Imperial Palms (Roystonea oleracea) in the Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro

Imperial or Royal Palms

Imperial or Royal Palms

I visited the botanical gardens of Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba and have made the resolution in all future travels to always track down and visit the local botanical garden.  In fact, my travels in future might be driven by the desire to visit the botanical garden.

Also visited the magical garden of Roberto Burle Marx wonderful garden and house full of beauty.

Translated from 16th century Persian and sent to me by a friend so I am unable to credit it fully

“If of all wealth you are bereft
And of all worldly goods have but two loaves left.
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed your soul.”

 

Fear of the wide open expanse of a sheet of A4 paper

So there I sat one year ago with a blank sheet of paper in front of me and a pencil in my hand, I had delayed this point as long as possible.  I had fiddled with the specimen; should it be nearer or further away, was this view better than that view?  I had adjusted the lighting; from the left side, from the right side, was top lit better or worse. But finally the moment arrived when there was nothing more that I could do so there I was, me and a blank sheet of A4 paper, on the face of it that does not sound too terrifying, but there is something so daunting about the pristine surface and the knowledge of the ugly mark about to be inflicted.

Why should that be?  It’s only a piece of disposable paper, the world is not going to end, nothing is going to change, it’s only making a mark on a piece of paper.  As I reflect on that angst it seems to be based in a fear of failure, of not creating the perfect image, of knowledge of what the image will look like before it is made and of not achieving – not achieving what exactly? Not achieving perfection, and why should perfection be achieved with the first drawing anyway?  It’s a ludicrous idea.  

My pencil touched the paper, and I was off………  The images were as I expected – inexpert and poor, but I was doing it, I was drawing, I was looking at a flower very very hard and trying to capture the essence of what that flower was and what that meant to me.

Over the next few weeks I continued to draw and gradually the fear diminished and to be honest it has never truly gone away, the first mark is the scariest.  My confidence started to grow and with confidence came motivation, a positive feedback loop!

I have added information about snowdrops, aconites and hellebores to my Plants page.