While many of us drew inspiration from nature during Covid-19, some actually drew the natural world. From doodling trees with the Native Plant Society of New Jersey to drawing daffodils with Greenwood Gardens to rendering paperwhites with the Morven Museum & Garden, budding artists took a creative break from the pandemic in virtual botanical-drawing workshops.
“It can be meditative to slow down and draw something,” says Vicky Katzman, who will teach in-person outdoor workshops, including two for children, on drawing native plants at the Thielke Arboretum in Glen Rock this summer. “When you’re involved in looking at a plant and drawing it,” says Katzman, “your mind isn’t spinning with anxious thoughts.”
Edison-based botanical artist Robin Jess sees a growing need to connect with nature through art. “It makes you appreciate the natural world,” says Jess.
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Jess, whose work includes New Jersey’s Pinelands license plate, is surprised at the interest in botanical illustration. As co-editor of Botanical Art Techniques (Timber Press, 2020), Jess saw the book sell out its 8,000-print run within the first two weeks of publication. “I don’t even know a thousand botanical artists, so there’s got to be some new people,” she says.
Outdoor botanical-art classes can be found this summer at museums, public gardens and arboretums, including Grounds for Sculpture, the Morris Museum, and Frelinghuysen Arboretum. Check their websites for info.Click here to leave a comment