Next Sketch Outing

Saturday, Dec. 9: Wallingford Center

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

let's convene at the conservatory

 Last week, a few friends and I met up at the Volunteer Park Conservatory to take advantage of the last week of free admission! For the record, sketchers are more than welcome here (as long as we dispose of our paint water properly and don't block walkways, the standard stuff).

The CEO of and his family donated the free period to the community in honor of their parents. Apparently it used to be free all the time, back in the day, and they wanted to give the community the same opportunity they had growing up. I wish more million/billionaires did stuff like this! Fun fact: with his net worth, Jeff Bezos could cover the admission of every single human on earth 17 times and have plenty (and I mean PLENTY) left over 🙃

Anyway a few of us regular folks met up to sketch some plants. In addition to standalone flora (does this count as urban sketching?), I captured the above scene near the entrance, making sure to get in one of their excellent hand painted signs (did not do it justice). I had collaged a brochure from a Napa winery I visited a few weeks ago - it was too nice to recycle - onto this page, which worked so well for this composition! The tree in the top left happened to be right where a tree in the photo was, and the brick sidewalk lined up well with the floor. I used paint markers and whiteout and a new Lamy fountain pen April's friend gave me.

On the other side of the conservatory, I found a cactus I liked for its cute pink flowers and white danger fuzz, called Mammillaria Rhodantha. While standing & painting in this room for a while, I overheard the same conversation over and over: people really want to touch the cacti, even though they know they shouldn't. There are a lot of neat textures on those plants, and I think people are attracted to the dangerous aspect despite knowing better. I can tell you from experience that some of those needles are too small to see and you don't notice your finger is full of them until it's too late.

I enjoyed the delicate cantaloupe color of these mounted orchids. Actually all the colors in this view were really attractive to me - a light sage of the staghorn fern behind, the teal of the fence the mount was hanging on. I left an impression of these but my values/composition got a little out of control here so I felt like it would only take away from the orchid if I did any more.

April was also present and she did a lovely watercolor in the PNW flower room! It's more of a true urban sketch than the plant still lives I was making. I personally love the lampposts they have in this room, it's a nice touch.

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