This week has been one of research; people, plants, shapes, colours, design possibilities, words and thoughts. I regard “materials” as visual knowledge as well as factual knowledge. The sketches are the only way I can really work out what it is I want to do. Sometimes (often) I would rather go and eat cake than start this stage, but once I do get started it’s not so bad.
In this story of the Hortus I have a fascinating cast of characters and I need to get to know them, so I have one notebook for the plants and one for the people.
The first plant I am looking at is Datura stramonium, the awful Thornapple with its dangerous beauty and powerful narcotic effects. I will be having a much closer look at all of the plants as I continue the research but for now it’s just a double page spread for each one, just to get an overview.
And some seed/pod sketches. I am not so interested in the real thing as in their design possibilities.
And then some pages of pencil figure sketches, in order to discover what I want my people to look like. Slowly, I know, they will take shape. Through the drawing and redrawing my personal set of characters will emerge and I will get to know who they are.
They certainly won’t all be good. :)