An ordinary life....

By Damnonii

Talented hands...

Today Lyn came to lunch.

I have known Lyn for just under 25 years, first as a physio who was involved in the team supporting Alan in his pre-school years, then as a  work colleague and friend.

When Lyn retired she decided to take re-vist a hobby she hadn't enjoyed since her childhood....painting and drawing.  She found herself signing up for evening classes in Botanical Painting at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and graduated with a Diploma in Botanical Illustration in 2011.  Since then her work has been exhibited all over the UK and she now teaches on the course.

Botanical illustration has fascinated me for a long time.  The perfectly scaled drawings, the delicate precision of the application of watercolour paint building layers of colour and texture.  Truly magical.  

During my two year journey with watercolour painting I have enjoyed painting loosely, but it's always a struggle to stop myself fiddling with the paint and including lots of detail.  This has made me wonder if I should give more detailed watercolour painting a go.  I can't say I have the skill, or more importantly, the patience, to learn the art of botanical illustration but a chat with Lyn seemed a good place to start.

We had a lovely lunch catching up on life then we got down to business.  Lyn brought me a beautiful selection of her paintings as cards.  She also brought a framed original (in extras) so I could see a painting "in the flesh."  Absolutely stunning.

She patiently answered my questions and shared her experience of starting out on her painting journey and how she describes herself as the least patient person she knows yet will happily spend hours and hours painting a tiny petal. Perhaps there's hope for me yet!  :-))  

She also gave me a little painting demonstration of some of the watercolour techniques used in botanical illustration and it is as fascinating as I thought it would be.  She brought her brushes and I was astounded by how small they are.  Being a loose painter I always choose the largest brush required for the task to discourage me from fiddling.  It would certainly be a challenging brain and hand exercise to go from throwing water and paint at paper randomly and seeing where it takes me, to learning measured drawing, flower botany and painting so precisely a magnifying glass is required to capture the detail.

It was only after Lyn had gone and I was thinking about it all, that it struck me how close botanical art is to macro / creative flower photography (which I love) so maybe I would really enjoy painting the fine detail that I enjoy photographing.  

Lyn also very kindly left me two of her old brushes to have a play with.  I managed to grab 10 minutes with them before S, L and the girls came back from their trip to Perth.  Jeez the brushes may be old but they are amazing (and expensive!) An absolute pleasure to use and I could see why spending hours painting with them would be an experience in mindfulness and not a test of patience.

I think I will watch a few tutorials on Skillshare and when I have some time to myself, follow one and see where it takes me.  

Another lovely and lively evening with S, L and the girls.  We so love having them here.

I have a few backblips to do and I am hoping to upload them tomorrow but the way things are going, it might be the end of the week before that happens.  

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