Thursday, November 3, 2011

Leaf Awareness

I have of late often received the counsel to look closely at leaves. It came up in a few ASBA Conference presentations and again in my botanical class. The class was visited by a few waves of visiting children and Sarah did a fine job of raising awareness on the diversity of leaves. More that once a kid hung out to my side, asking a few questions. My question back was "Hey, you must be an artist?" The answer was always yes. We'd then get down to tool talk--media, subjects, etc...

Leaf awareness came back to me today while shopping in the produce section. All the colors! Kale's blue-green and celery's yellow-green. Beets, lettuces, collards, and on it goes. A flurry of blurred greens fading one into the other.

And while lugging my groceries indoors I was again caught up with fallen leaves--oaks and maples and crabapples and all those I still can't identify! Like the examples below, I am scanning leaves for subjects for when the snow is flying. This one might make it into egg tempera and oils.

Scan cover down to flatten leaf for detail.

Scan cover up to capture dimensionality.


  1. If you can paint a leaf, and I know you can, you can paint the world! Lovely image of you and those eager, wide-eyed children. - Joyce

  2. Joyce, they were really great kids! Of course, after Sarah reminded them that they should freely pass out compliments on our work, how could we not love them. ;-)

  3. Ah! Leaf awareness! Love this- especially as for the month of October I set myself the task to draw and/or paint one leaf a day (30 leaves-30 days) and what an interesting project it turned out to be. I collected leaves from trees, flowers, weeds, vines- whatever caught my eye.. The first week or so I worked quickly, capturing the shape with ink outline and watercolor washes. By the end of the project I was in full blown botanical study mode and enjoying every minute. I was literally painting my last leaf on Saturday when the snow started falling!
    ~ gretchen

  4. Gretchen, I applaud your perseverance! What a fantastic project! Hopefully all that snow will melt soon--it's too early to have that stuff hanging around.