An Odd Year for Magnolias: watercolor, gouache, stencils in my sketchbook.

Seasons can be measured in many ways - and one of my favorite ones is by thinking about what plants would be doing at what part of the year. Since my arrival to California, I enjoyed getting to know many kinds of magnolia trees. They feel very comfortable here and you can find all kinds of magnolias on the public streets, in private gardens, and everything in between.  Their flowers and seed pods visit my sketchbook frequently. There are several trees in the area that I know quite well and know when they usually start to bloom when they reach a peak flower coverage, and when I should go hunt for some magnolia cones. 

But this year all the rules were broken! The tree that I enjoy visiting around Christmas time and send pictures of to my friends in much colder parts of the world as a promise of spring to come was bare on New Year's. The spider magnolia that I often run by did not get the first flower till February seventh. Yet one of my favorite magnolias with dark burgundy flowers was in full bloom at the end of January when usually at that time it was only getting its first buds out. 

I started sketching magnolias in January and just recently say that my neighbor's young tree got the first bud out - this week! I put some comments about materials that I used:
Watercolor and gouache.
Stencils on a tracing paper.
Shadow of a magnolia tree on a fence.
Watercolor in a pocket sketchbook.

No comments:

Post a Comment