On the cusp of September, I visited local allotments. It was an unremarkable day, but for a short time, the day was lifted by a bright blue sky and there, nestled in the plots, I found a feast for the eye and an aromatic picture of the season. As I strolled, my eye captured the tall spikes of sweetcorn, the gladioli adding height to the borders, and the golden sunflowers smiling. The lilac sweet peas tumbled and the zinnias and roses added pops of bright colour with a vibrant luminosity. The colours blended together with lime green boughs of apples and dahlias of varying colour, shape and size. I used my mobile phone to capture the festival of colour and returned home to illustrate the kaleidoscope from magenta to scarlet, from gold to shocking pink, from crimson to sky blue. My time at the allotments and time sketching at home filled me with a sense of wellbeing and thankfulness, my worries had ceased, and there was hope in my heart. It was refreshing to find such treasure on an allotment, hope that had been planted to flourish. It is lovely to capture the amazing colours of nature, and pictures continue to give beauty, whereas fresh flowers fade. I have been inspired and encouraged to continue; there is so much more to see and learn.
As a trained florist, with a love of detail, design and texture, and a passion for flowers and colour schemes, I seized the opportunity of time in lockdown to follow a previously unfound hobby of taking photographs of flowers and plant material. I picked up some fine art marker pens and began to fill A2 size art books with outlines of the images I had captured. Soon I had amassed 250 art pens of varying colours and I set about replicating the colours in my photographs. Artistic licence gave design to the illustrations and I became immersed in the activity, developing shading techniques and mastering 3D. The colours seemed to leap from the art pad, a contrasting background set the scene. My camera phone was a companion on all my walks to the park, local walks and visits to garden centres. This new interest gave me an appreciation of the changing seasons and the variety and wonder of nature. My illustrations were used for cards and pictures for friends and family. When we gradually began to emerge from lockdown, I realised that time spent creating art brought me the benefit of contemplation and the gift of peace.