On December 28, I spent a few glorious hours by myself, drawing in the Tucson Botanical Gardens, a beautiful, quiet oasis in the city. There’s an herb garden, a traditional Tohono O’odham Nation garden, a zen garden, a cactus garden, various contemplative gardens, a butterfly and orchid garden, and more.
The first drawing below is a mix of oil pastel, thick Pitt marker, and watercolour. The saguaro cacti appear to have formed an illegal assembly. Maybe they are plotting something? Or maybe it’s all completely innocuous, and they’re just exchanging ideas on how to attract more bees. But seriously, I have noticed how sculptural these cacti, as well as a lot of other Arizona plants, are. They don’t seem to be as lush, flowy and soft as the plants we have in BC.
This last drawing below is in oil pastel only. It was definitely inspired by Veronica Lawlor’s reportage drawing style (she teaches at the Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design in New York), and one of her former students, Dino Pai, who participates with me in the Vancouver Urban Sketchers, and is a professional storyboard artist. One day, I hope to meet Veronica and take some kind of a drawing lesson from her.