This week my sketchbook studies are dedicated in loving memory to my dad who recently passed away. My father was an agronomist and worked as a college professor for many years. He loved plants and the outdoors and he instilled a love of nature in me. This is why landscape and natural form studies are a recurrent theme in my sketchbooks.
For me, an important part of drawing from nature, is the direct contact with the outdoors. The process of drawing plants and trees from observation can be meditative. When working on site, I aim to capture the essence of the space and my response to it. I marvel at the perfect design in nature and look out for rhythms and patterns in woods or on individual trees. I search for the characteristics of growth of the branches such as where they grow out from and what direction the limbs take. It’s interesting to compare and contrast structural characteristics from tree to tree. There are patterns in the growth of the branches, the leaves, the fruit, seeds or flowers. Careful observations of negative and positive shapes as well as analysis of vertical and horizontal alignments help me capture the correct shape and form.
I am forever grateful to have grown up with a deep appreciation for our natural environment and I hope to instill this in my kids.