"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Leaf of the Day: One Bite at a Time...the Plantain; Day 1.

I am wondering if I should carry on with this SBA course as the deadline dates for submissions loom like the beginning of a prison sentence. I try to remember such motivational sayings as, "per ardua as astra" and "if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well".. and my particular favourite when confronted with that over facing task, "the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time"
I would much prefer to spend the day researching proverbs than start this task but as self discipline is the only hope for a procrastinator I must just get on with it.

I realise now that I could have found something much simpler for this piece and may still change my mind. Again it is the problem of wilt. The flowers die as soon as you look at them so I will have to get the basic stem position drawn in and make some good drawings of the flower and seeds pod structures to refer back to when my current model has withered away. I am determined not to fall back on photographs. It is the slippery slope. Also I am honestly finding that the only way to really understand the flower, for a botanically inclined painting, is to have it right there in front of you, so you can pull it apart and turn it round and look from every angle.

My inspiring stems!....

One good thing is that the stems I found the other day, even if they are tatty, seem to be surviving in a jar water and have a new flower every day, but I will certainly have to go and get another before this is finished.
The real botanical illustrators sometimes take a couple of years to finish a painting, religiously waiting for the next flowering or fruiting season to paint the new stages of a plant's development. Our tutor on the short course I attended in the UK, Sandrine Maughy, had started a painting of lilac blossom (terribly complicated) but had been unble to complete it this year so will put it away and return to it next year.
I find that hard to envisage. When I do eventually start I am hoping this painting will be done in 4 days.

So today's bite size chunks of this elephantine task are some more studies. One of the buds was beginning to open so I thought this would be a good simple starting point but it opened so quickly, that within an hour it had gone from bud to fully open. My studies are as quick as I could do....Phew..
I then went on to a bigger version of the open flower and a more stationary seed head and then a pencil study.
Tomorrow I am going to go and draw outside for the day, for air and for light and look for more plantains.. one must also remember that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" ..no?

Plantain Studies


Anonymous said...

In these parts they call it a Duck Potato. It's a good butterfly attractor in Spring but less so in fall.

Sree said...

Checking your blog for new posts everyday in the morning is almost a ritual for me now:)
This one is exquisite! (like all the others:)