Botany, Baby

It’s impossible to sketch in Guyana, and leave out the greenery. One is surrounded by riverine forests, and on our walks around the surrounding islands we come across interesting plants all the time, so my sketchbook is starting to look a bit like a botanist’s records of the New World.

This flower belongs to the same tree that Kris brought his weird jungle fruit home from. I painted the fruits on postcards, blogged about them here. Found this specimen growing in Gabriel’s Creek.
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I also painted a Cecropia leaf. Cecropias are apparently yummy, as we have found both howler monkeys and sloths in their branches. The Amerindians use the leaves medicinally.

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These pretty flowers smell like jasmine, though it is a small tree and not a shrub at all. A single pink petal encloses the others in the bud…the other petals are white. Grows on Baganara Island, hanging over the water, on the resort grounds.
flowering branch

Note: Most of my blog content these days is from two or three weeks back, because of how difficult it is to get onto the internet; so while my posts may be about terrible, rainy days and so forth, the rain had actually eased by the time I could post about the experience, and we are enjoying a mix of rainy nights and sunny days, at the moment. Since then I have been to Georgetown, even! But I am still working on my posts for that part, and most likely won’t post about them until we get to our next destination. Incidentally, we are hoping to leave Essequibo River on Friday, the 19th, and Guyana itself by the 25th or so. We are headed for Granada, it may take another 10 days or so, so my next posts will start to show up in the first or second week of July.

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27 thoughts on “Botany, Baby

  1. Loved them!!! I also love to observe nature, take pictures and then draw at home. How do you do it? Do you draw at the place you are at or do you take pictures and draw them afterwards? One of the things that I love is the amazing and enormous variety of patterns you can find in nature 🙂

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    1. I can’t draw from pictures, which is probably a good thing, though sometimes I wish I could. For these, we actually brought a small cutting home to the boat…too hard to sketch on site, what with the rains and often nowhere to sit. It’s naughty, I know, but there was so much in lush Guyana that I don’t think the trees and shrubs missed a sprig here, a short branch there. As soon as I get home, I draw…before anything wilts or dries up. Sometimes for 5 hours…drawing, then watercolouring.
      I do love drawing plants, I’ve discovered, though really I just love drawing…recently I drew a can of coffee, so I don’t have a preference, and it doesn’t have to be anything conventianally “beautfiul”. The act of drawing is what makes it beautiful, so anything is tranformed from base metal into gold.
      Thanks for the lovely comment, as always! 🙂

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    1. Really? Wow, I didn’t think they were good enough for that (how embarrassing, some of them I don’t even know the names of!) but I will see if it can be done…or do more, with prints in mind. Thank you for your encouragement!

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    1. Thanks, Laura, yes, Guyana held a particular magic for me…not a lot of outside stimulation, not a lot one could do during the torrential downpours that lasted for days, I was pushed into drawing for a good third or half of each day, and ended up loving it so much, I didn’t want to do anything else. Trying to use the time productively became an experience of intimately seeing and learning to love leaves, stems, pistils and petals, small details that I have ignored, most of my life.

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  2. Lovely! I got a ‘ping’ of recognition when I saw your sketches; our art museum just had an exhibit and talk on botanical art from the 1600’s through now…I have to say that your work is as good as any I saw in that display; the leaves in some of your sketch pop right off the page! Thanks for sharing this with us; what fascinating travels.

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