big on botanicals

Posted by on Jul 23, 2010 in Children's Book Illustration | 2 comments

I’m a lousy gardener, but I love botanicals of any kind. Here is a pastel done recently when our resident peonies made their annual splash, a miracle that never ceases to amaze me, since I didn’t plant them.

Last week, I trekked to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in the company of a few savvy moms and groovy girls. I went mainly to catch the exhibit of Robert McCloskey’s sketches. He’s an illustrator
strongly associated with Maine, thanks to titles like Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine, both well-read books in our house.

The exhibit is right in the Visitor Center and featured original art as well as sketches.
I love getting to see the rough process.

Interesting evidence of those bygone days of color separation.

It was actually hard to really concentrate on the show, with the new
Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden beckoning outside.

The same sculptor who created the row of ducks in the Boston Public Gardens,
Nancy Schon, did this version of McCloskey’s bear from
Blueberries for Sal, complete with a nearby overturned bucket of berries.

Nearby sits another icon of Maine children’s literature, a topiary ode to Miss Rumphius,
Barbara Clooney’s grand dame of coastal characters, and another household favorite.

The architects of this garden have surely made the world more beautiful. But wait, there’s more!

I loved this swirly path, which my daughter insisted on walking completely, just to get dizzy.

Another fun spot was in the two-story treehouse, a gnarly haven of spirited space.

And in the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, I found
something to stimulate my tired soles.

The reflexology labyrinth was pretty hot for my tender feet, but it did the trick.

These gardens stirred me on all levels, and I’m eager to return. Meanwhile, back to drawing
still lifes in the shade of my studio!

2 Comments

  1. Wow, those peonies are beautiful! That garden looks like a really interesting place to visit. Definitely on my places to one day visit.

  2. What a lovely garden.
    We are coming to your area Aug 9th and 10th. We would love to see you.

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