I don’t have any new paintings to show this month, but I’ve actually done some real drawing recently! During the annual Monterey CNPS Wildflower Show at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History in April, I was able to sit and do some sketching (alongside my fellow artists Jack Laws and Jon Wolf). While the wildflower show features all kinds of rare and endemic species, I chose two favorites to draw this year: flannelbush and California buckeye. The buckeye, with its fragrant spike of flowers, is one that I’ve wanted to draw for ages, but tackling all those little blossoms seemed overwhelming in the field. Sitting at a table with two other sketchers was a much more pleasant way to do it!
The flannelbush, on the other hand, was not nearly as complex, but I’ve just never gotten around to drawing it. I love seeing this plant in bright-gold bloom in the center divide on Highway 1 between Monterey and Carmel—it makes time on the road that much nicer.
Each year I try to sketch a couple of new plants at the wildflower show; I like to have sketches from life in my drawer of unfinished drawings, even if I don’t use them in a finished piece right away. My goal is to build a catalog of California native plant drawings, to be used in future paintings. It may take me a while to build up my library, but it’s a fun side project to work on!