Monday, June 11, 2018

New little project

A couple of years back when we traveled to England, we stopped by the Chelsea Physick Garden in London. I love those very old botanical gardens. This garden retained some of its original focus of exploring plant properties for medical purposes. It then incorporated new plants from all over the world and as the modern world has influenced botany, the garden has grown to include those.

 There is a lovely little site plan that inspires me quite a bit, but I didn't know what to do with it.

We have a number of allotment gardens in Halifax and a Victorian Public Garden, but no formal teaching/botanical gardens that I know of. Since I also love allotment gardens, old maps and flowers, I was thinking of a way to incorporate these all together.

In some round about way I came across Greg Becker's work. This is a sweet little book although after a few pages, a bit predictable. (here)

Last fall Steve and I went on a tour of trees in our part of Halifax. We learned all about planting trees and their diversity in urban settings. Along the way, we passed this hidden gem of an allotment garden and I fell in love. I put my name in for a plot, but the waiting list is long.

This bench is still in the shade at 9:00 a.m. when I get there.

Eventually, the dim light in my brain went off and I figured I could visit the allotment garden as an artist. On Thursday mornings I now trot off to the garden, a 20 minute walk away and spend enough time there to do two sketches. One is to be a bit complicated and the other is to be more spontaneous. I'm doing them in pencil, then overdrawing with a .01 pen and a .5 pen. When I get home, the idea is to add watercolour or pencil crayon. The paper in the sketch book isn't great for watercolour, so this week, I'll see how pencil crayon works. Taking pencil crayons to the allotment would be a lot easier than all the fuss watercolour needs minus the waiting for it all to dry.

Single Rhubarb leaf and garlics
 The first week I took my Ipod to take pictures. Last week I took the proper camera and it makes uploading to the blog much easier. I have to decide if I should take both, one for Instagram and one for the blog. Different devices for different devices. They say technology saves time, but only in washing clothes and baking as far as I'm concerned.

Rhubarb and Garlic

The location of the rhubarb and garlic I sketched.
The upper two sketches are the first week's adventure, the next one is from last week. I was away on a textile art retreat over the weekend and didn't find a quiet moment to complete it. I'm going to do this tonight in our hotel room in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

This is the corner of the garden I sketched.

The allotment gardener was thinking a sketcher might come by and set it up just so.


  1. What a great idea, Laureen and you know what, by the time you get your own allotment you know everyone around already .. :-) ... Love the rhubarb and garlic-drawing