Leaves and Foliage – In Botanical Ink

I’ve been on a bit of a painting kick – I dug up my bottles of botanical inks, bought a massive stack of watercolor paper, and sifted through hard drives of my vacation photos for nature references.

As I got the hang of the medium, I spent hours and hours each evening painting as I listened to podcasts or classes. I was hooked. When else does one look at nature photos that closely or for that long?

The effect was hypnotic. At the time, I was digging into climate research that was emotionally taxing. The harder it got, the more I painted to recover.

I’ve run out of ink now, but I still find myself staring at the leaves outside my window, tracing shapes in the air with my finger.

Want to give it a try? Even if you can’t get away to the middle of the wilderness, you can still get some nature time. Take a look at leaves or clouds – for a long time, way longer than seems sensible. Trace their shapes in the air.

What do you see that you would miss at a glance?

I’m working on developing the most eco-friendly art practice I can. That’s why I’m experimenting with botanical inks and watercolors, and Forest Stewardship Council certified watercolor paper.

My process isn’t perfect, but I’m learning a lot about sustainability, which I hope to apply to other aspects of my life too.

I’ll share more about my process as I refine it. As a preview, if you’re curious, here is my article about how I apply sustainability principles to my journaling practice.

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