Half a year ago, whilst doodling, my love of wildflowers came through. Since then, I've been waiting for Spring so I could spend more time back in the bush studying them, which is something I love to do at this time of year. Last year I sketched and filmed from one spot in the bush and then doodled flowers in spring. The year before, I photographed and later painted and wrote a blog series I called The Beauty of the Bush. The year before that I photographed all the blooms that I could.
This year, I've been besotted with white flowers and the details of the blooms. Their ephemeral beauty is not lost on me and the more I look, the more I see, but it's when I come to draw, paint or doodle later, that I realise there is so much more than meets the eye, still so much I can learn.
Wedding Bush - Ricinocarpus pinifolius
This gentle, slightly fleshy flower, is one of my favourites. Around here these delicate shrubs appear scantily on the sandstone. They are not easy to photograph because of the space between the blooms.
photographing their yellow green and white.
sketching them on in the bush in black ink.
doodling in blue ink in my new Lamy Joy pen.
Pink Eriostemon - Eriostemon australasius
I saw lots of these bushes abundant with flowers at Mugamurra Nature Reserve, which is only open a few weekends in August and September each year.
photographing the beautiful pink blooms
doodling in ink with planet earth behind.
Coastal Tea Tree - Leptospermum Laevigatum
These are easily spotted on walks around the coastal headlands, sometimes covered in bees.
sketching in graphite.
Mitrasacme - Mitrasacme polymorpha
The tiniest and sweetest white flower. I adore how they create a whimsical necklace beside the path.
capturing shadows as a way of seeing patterns, shapes and forms.
sketching in graphite, finding how to draw white flowers on white.
Flannel Flowers - Actinotus helianthi
These are the most gorgeous blooms. As their name suggests, they are the texture of flannel which I doodled last year in graphite.
photographing their soft gently twisted forms.
sketching in graphite.
doodling in ink.
Now, as some of these blooms begin to fade, it's a matter of allowing all the observing and learning to infiltrate. Over the years, some people have suggested I pursue botanical art and whilst I love this seasonal practice, the meditation of photographing and sketching the flowers that bloom where I live and I admire the work of botanical artists, I've come to realise that it is not really me.
By playing and doodling, I have come to see that my art, my craft, my contribution, my gift, is to allow all this study to distill and let the flowers emerge into new forms. Maybe these new forms are meant to tell stories about the importance of preserving biodiversity on this planet like Sophie Munns does in her inspiring Homage to the Seed. Maybe they are meant to show ways we can bring our own environments into our art like Angie Lewin's beautiful printworks or Dana Kinter's artworks. I'm not really sure. Maybe it's about creating places that don't really exist, new worlds where everything is filled with fun and love as Amanda Clark does in her Earth Angel Art.
It's a brave step not being sure, surrendering and embracing the mystery. Turning up each year and seeing something new, allowing it to unfold, not knowing where it will go. Simply enjoying it for what it is, appreciating the opportunity to take time to connect with nature in this deeper way. Maybe it's about going with the flow and learning to trust, simply having gratitude for the magnitude of the beauty that surrounds us on this planet. Whatever it is, I am grateful and I hope you enjoy what is emerging.
doodling another nature heart.
Do you like to sketch flowers where you live? Have you ever tried doodling them? What wildflowers do you love? Have you any ideas in response to reading this? Thanks as always, for taking the time to stop by, I'll keep you posted as to what happens next.