I chose to do my informal sketching in an equally informal botanical sketchbook. Decided I'd scrape pure red acrylic gouache as a simple background and work with a graphic arts pen I keep on my coffee table work space at all times. Simple and back to basics. Used the scraping opportunity to start out skimpy with the red areas/paint load and then let the vast array of empty space gradually build into something more solid. I created an ongoing spontaneous meditation on the red square/root chakra work I've been doing all month as I sketched.
I knew I wanted to sketch an Archangelica angelica root but instead of sketching it three times I worked from three separate reference images. Lysdexia was making longer term concentration quite challenging. You can see a vestige of it in the fact that I got the botanical name of my favorite plant inverted.
While sketching dried Dang Gui I recalled an amazing Chinese herb shop that used to be on Harvard Street in Allston. And finally I drew a close up of tiny hairlike A. archangelica rootlets because they are so much fun to create with marks of many kinds.
Then I celebrated roots in a different way. It was something I'd been meaning to make time for throughout this month and then once my body began foretelling today's torrential rain I just let myself curtail plans & ambition and instead reconnect with an old friend:
I adore this book equally for the information it contains and the marvelously sensitive pencil drawing of innumerable root systems. Sat here on the dreaming couch and dropped all the down into my own sense of rootedness. Memories of sharing this book and actively building community through book sharing more generally. With each flip of the page I felt infused with the energy of so many herbal root systems holding so many personal and dreaming memories. Time very well spent.
For the A. angelica root example I decided to include some of the text to show a snippet of the author's voice and level of information provided. It can be tricky to find a copy but well worth putting on a someday/quest list as well as searching down through inter-library loan. The pencil drawings are exquisite throughout.
Every single page is a journey in drawing sensitivity as well as technical skill and a killer plant geek's eye.