I am 4,898 miles away from Richmond, VA, as I write this, taking Wendy Hollender's two-week, tropical botanical, colored pencil class. I am learning a lot from Wendy, but also doing my own thing here, a great combination. The plants and topography at so very different fom Virginia, especially the sharp, high, volcanic mountains.
The first day I was here, my most excellent roommate, Karen, and I drove up Waimea Canyon Road, an amazing place, the "Grand Canyon" of Hawaii. Like it's namesake, the canyon is a symphony of colors, but, unlike it, green abounds. As the elevation increased, the plants shifted. We saw some alpine Hawaiian blueberries, the Koa trees (used to make wood implements and canoes) and a multitude plants we did not know. Some scenes:
Class started Monday the 10th and we jumped in illustrating the inedible Natal plum. I also bought "Heliconia Grocertstoreii" to draw as well, and worked on that. Also started a star fruit, wood rose (did the sketches, matched colors, so I can finish then up later) and the work I will complete for the show here, the Hawaiian cotton plant:
A highlight of the trip was the tour of the McBride native gardens, led by an ethnobotanist, and the Allerton ornamental gardens, by David Lorence, Director of Science and Conservation. It was an indescribable experience, each turn in the trail presented a new plant, new vista...all stunning. Today we draw in the garden, and I will be working on the tree jade plant.
Next time, a bit more on Wendy's classes...