Sunday, August 10, 2014

Working in the Field

SBA Assignment #10 Working in the Field

Wildwood Park, Thousand Oaks, California USA

Below is the process I went thru to complete this assignment:

Day 1 
Scouted out a perfect spot for my assignment.  Arrived at Wildwood Park at 7:00 am and started hiking.  Wildwood park is a regional park in Thousand Oaks, California consisting of 1732 acres.  The park features, 2 waterfalls, Indian Cave and miles of hiking and picnic areas. 
I spent 2 hours scouting out a perfect spot for my assignment and snapping photos of every species of native flowers in the area.
 View at the bottom of the falls

Below is a compilation of some of the photos taken while scouting out my flowers to draw.  After going thru all the photos on my computer, I started narrowing down the choices.

Day 2
Started research on all scientific names of plants and flowers.  Some research done on line and the rest with a few books checked out in the local library on native plants of the area and Southern California.
Days, 3,4,5 
Researching, Researching, Researching.  Hard to identify all these plants!
The engineering background in me decided I needed to produce a spreadsheet to aid in keeping all the information organized.
Day 6
Back to Wildwood for more pictures, leaf rubbings, and obtaining more details that I missed the first time. 
Day 7
Working on my sketchbook.  Classifying all the plans in a spreadsheet format.
Listing, Name, both common & scientific
Colour Notes
Growth Habit
Leaf details: Arrangement, shape, venation, margin
Flower detail:  Sepals, Stamen's, Stigma, Stem type, Surroundings

 Day 8
Starting to play with composition so I can pick my 5 plants to draw for the assignment.
I usually sketch out each plant to scale on tracing paper.  This allows me to move things around to decide which plants to use and how to place them on the paper.  At least this is a guide and as I start the final drawing, things change each day as I am finalizing the layout.
All this and I haven't even starting drawing yet!
 Day, 9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20...............
I lost track but this assignment took me until the absolute last day I could post it to my tutor in the UK. 
I went back to Wildwood a few more times, getting details of plants I needed and just kept drawing and drawing.  People ask me how long each assignment takes and after a while I loose track of time, but generally I work for 2-3 hours on and off each day.  Every 45 minutes I make myself stop, otherwise my eyes start screaming at me.  I used to have perfect eyesight before embarking on this journey.
Once I felt I was at the then, I then packed up my assignment along with the required sketchbook pages and the listing of all the dozens of plants I found at Wildwood Park and off to Fed Ex I went.
$100.00 US Dollars later, I posted it 2 Day.    Four days later my tutor notified me that it hadn't arrived yet. (I always send her an email when I have sent it, just so she knows to expect it soon)  After 7 days Fed Ex told me I had the wrong address and so I gave them my tutors phone number in the UK.  After going back and forth, realizing they did have the correct address, it was finally delivered. 
My tutor was kind enough to mark it and post it back to me the same day!
 After another 7 days wait, I arrived home from work and found the package waiting for me on my doorstep.  As always I get so nervous to open it, never knowing what my marks would be like.
So, after looking at the unopened package thru lunch. I ripped it open and to my excitement, I had received my best score.   
A few notes from my tutor:
Amazing!  I love getting work from far-flung places because of the variety of plants depicted that we Brits don't normally get to see.
Although I am not familiar with these plants I have seen one or two in hot houses over here and your colors are accurate. 
Lori, this is not only a really beautifully drawn and colored piece of work but it's really interesting too.  I know it took you a long time and there was a lot of work involved, but it has paid off.
Final Mark
No time to waste, it's on to the next assignment
Working from Photographs
Hope you enjoyed my post, thanks for following them,
Lori V.