A blooming orchestra: the first players

Nature’s concert season is starting in our hemisphere!  Time so see (and sing!) La Vie en rose as an act of resistance to the days of doom and gloom. Wanderers, Nature lovers, painters and poets rejoice! And do take yourself out for a walk. Even in the city, public parks and alleys are on the starting-blocks. Never mind the rain, the wind and higher up the snow, Nature’s forces are all stocked and ready for a blooming revolution. No one can stop that army of petals and surging buds. Soon there will be too many flowers at hand to draw and paint them all…

Each and every year at this specific time around late February, when days get longer and winter sticks to the pavement, I get a huge craving for pink, an urge to wear a pink scarf, a hunger for a bunch of pink tulips… So when the blooming actors start to play their musical score, I come across a Viburnum with it’s thousand little pink bouquets at the end of every twig or a deliciously scented Daphne, preceding the symphony of the glorious magnolias and camellias… My heart just bursts in gratitude and joie de vivre.

The power of color

Pink is the color of tenderness, too often assumed as a girl’s exclusive attribute. If you google it, you will find the most edifying stories and theories about pink. In the botanic world, from spring to winter, pink is everywhere. Artists in botanical watercolor will find a wide range to chose from and each have their favorites. You will have to try them on and figure things out for yourself. I remember the misfortune of a friend who painted onions with a color alluringly named “opera pink”, but to her dismay, her painting faded because of exposure to direct sunlight. Lightfastness and accuracy of colors, yet another – vast – territory to explore.

There is some magic in the interaction of color, light and our ability to drink it in and eventually do something about it. Colors invite to infinite paths of exploration. For some, they are like music, they carry emotions on their wings – their wavelength. For those who have the gift of synesthesia, colors will be seen in answer to music, Kandinsky was one of them.

Who doesn’t dream of the perfect painting or even want to jump in pots of paint when Spring spreads countless atoms of delight out there to capture and share. Ancestral techniques are wonderful tools to convey the beauty and perfection of Nature. Botanical watercolor is one of them.

Read also: Flower power