Exhibit of my watercolor sketches at the Elisabeth C Miller Library

An exhibit of my watercolor sketches is now on display at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle.  The exhibit, which runs through September 28, is available for viewing during the library’s normal visiting hours.  Please check this link for hours and driving directions.

I spent a delightful couple of hours yesterday morning with a group of six women who drove down from Bow, Washington to see the show.  This is the first time I’ve actually met new friends through my blog, and they are each kindred spirits — some painters, a couple of librarians, some with ties to the Midwest, fellow travelers.   I am touched that they made the effort to see my work and it was a real pleasure to meet them.

Magnificent bouquet from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

I was also very honored to see a stunning bouquet from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market delivered to the Miller Library to celebrate my show.  The bouquet is so beautiful, and it is such a thoughtful gesture of support from my friends at the Market.  The bouquet was quite a showpiece of local, seasonal blooms — I was tickled to see a stem of blackberries tucked in among the flowers and greens!

Display cases show sample blog posts, some photographs, and tools of my trade — watercolor sets and journals.

The framed watercolors are arranged by season — spring, summer, fall and winter.

I invite you all to stop by the Miller Library to see my show.  And to spend some time visiting this wonderful horticultural resource in the city.  Tomorrow’s blog post will take you along the trails of the Union Bay Natural Area adjacent to the Miller Library.  And Friday’s post will introduce you to the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium, also part of the Center for Urban Horticulture.  I’ll close here with some photographs from the demonstration gardens.

Datura

This purple trumpet flower is called “the devil’s trumpet,” or datura

Bed of sneezeweed

Sneezeweed, so much variety in one bed

Hostas

Lilies

I loved the range of colors here, too.

A hanging curtain of green

Looking through the curtain

Grape leaves like stained glass

I’m partial to curving shapes, and love the curvy patterns and abstractions in these hostas, which I admired in the gardens at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle (http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/visit/cuh.php).

Double image -- leaf on leaf

Do you see what I see when I look at a plant or flower?  I try to capture my viewpoint in my photos, and they capture what I perceive as beautiful about the plant.  I just read some words about pattern in Soetsu Yanagi’s The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty, that speak about seeing and knowing beauty:

“Where lies the essential difference between the plant and the pattern?  The plant is a product of nature.  The pattern is this plus a human viewpoint.  The original plant is still ‘raw’, nothing more than the given material.  The viewpoint is what gives it content.  Without a viewpoint, seeing is no different from not seeing.  Everybody can see the plant; but not everybody sees it in the same way, much less perceives its beauty.  Beauty only emerges in the plant with the addition of a viewpoint that sees it as beautiful.  .  . All patterns are products of a viewpoint.”

Hosta, Center for Urban Horticulture

The spiraling pattern reminds me of a shell

Hosta abstracted