Hazaa! After a lot of piddling about the past month I’ve finally set some studio goals for myself: I’m learning more about botany and plant families to better support my observational skills with botanical source material. As a part of this, I’ve started to create a resource book for myself that outlines some essential identification and reference notes gathered from what I’m reading.
Of course, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be visually appealing so I’ve been exploring different ways of working with the basic diagrams from beloved resource texts like my vintage field guides and newly discovered “Botany In A Day” by Thomas J. Elpel (possibly the greatest botany resource I’ve ever seen).
In addition, I’ve also finally established a schedule that is structured around my artistic practice first and foremost. Another small victory, I believe. For the fall term I’ve arranged to work primarily in the studio from Monday – Wednesday and have allocated teaching to Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evening with family time in the evenings and remainder of the weekend.
In only a few weeks time I’ve seen an improvement in my personal motivation and enthusiasm for my studio hours and have also had a decrease in overall anxiety about my teaching responsibilities. I’d call that a pretty good indicator that something is going right. There is still some work to do to fully acclimate and find a good rhythm but I’m feeling much better about this arrangement now that I’m seeing better results.
While working with visual representations of botanical concepts I’ve also been struggling to create good ways to document my studio process to share here and on Instagram. I’ve been posting some of these short stop-motion videos via IG throughout the week but haven’t really embarked on a larger project just yet (so that I can screw up in smaller increments).
Over the last few days I’ve created a lovely two-page spread in my watercolor botanical sketchbook which outlines Elpel’s “Flower Profile” guide and also includes information about different flower, petal, and leaf types from other sources.
Visually I find this very satisfying but I’ve already noted about 2 dozen things I’d like to change and improve on. I’ve finally inked the current personal version though (shared below) and plan to add color next week.
I envision developing this into a small poster print and have had an awesome challenge from the ladies at Carve Out Time For Art to turn this into a zine at some point (a challenge I intend to take on in the coming weeks).
I’m already looking forward to expanding on my current ideas in the coming weeks. More to come… much more…