In week 5 of Adult NS, the students spent the afternoon sketching indoors at the Allan Gardens Conservatory. This historic building was officially opened on September 11th, 1860.
Joining us to talk about the staggering variety of tropical plants within the conservatory was Naturalist Diana Teal. Diana heads up programming and her office is in a sunny greenhouse filled with plants!
The class began with a memory drawing exercise which was followed by Diana’s in depth discussion on cacti & succulents. Afterwards, each person selected their own plant to sketch with a focus on using cross contour lines to describe both form and shape.
For the second half of the class, Diana led the students on a tour through conservatory while stopping briefly in places to point out obscure plant features. Those are the kinds of details usually missed by the casual observer.
After the tour, each artist spent time sketching on their own, but with a slight twist. Everyone was asked to imagine themselves on a natural history expedition to a tropical location in order to document botanical discoveries in their sketchbooks. The intention was to encourage looking at the natural world with a fresh point of view.
Once their sketch was complete, we gathered up all the artwork and put Diana to the test by seeing if she could I.D. the plants based solely on the artist’s rendering - she correctly identified all but one cactus drawing which had her stumped!
Thank you Diana Teal for sharing your plant expertise with the NS artists! We all enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of the conservatory and learned so much.