I’ve been looking at how I can develop some botanical knowledge outside my botanical illustration classes. Sally Corbet (a biologist and printmaker with a special interest in flowers and pollination) has suggested that I find a really good weeklong field trip to help build up my confidence and knowledge in this area. These courses are expensive and the right one hard to find. “What if you organised it so that a course came to you, to the place you are currently mapping?” Um, what a good idea of hers, how can I work this? I am scheming.
In the meantime, Dr. Barbara McLean has come to my rescue, thanks to the energetic Mally Francis. I have recently been accepted as a painter for the Eden Project Florilegium Society and so now I can access day courses that Mally has booked. Barbara took us through the best practice principles of dissection and introduced us to the floral diagram. This aerial view of the plant is now my plan. I make myself draw an aerial view of every plant I have to paint and dissect, and I keep drawing the dissections so when I find the field study course of my dreams, I will be adept at something.
This approach will force me to travel, walk with my fingers and pencil around the plant in different directions and in varying dimensions – something of a psychogeographical approach to drawing. Mr. Will Self would be pleased.