My nature walk today was very special as Pari accompanied me and we spent a good two hours walking, talking, exploring leaves, wild-flowers, seeds and bugs and clicking away like there’s no tomorrow. It was drizzling on and off but we really enjoyed the rain drops on our bare skin.
Not only the nature walk, but the art is very special too – for it’s an out and out process-oriented art. If yesterday’s (Peepal leaf art) involved working with real leaves and paint, today, I went a step further as I carved out the leaves, cut them up and used them in this leaf-art collage inspired by the Yellow Bells.
Don’t miss reading the entire post as I’ll be sharing a lot of pictures – from the nature walk as well as of the art. And of-course – notes about the Yellow Bells plant, its leaves, flowers and seeds. (I have pics of all these too!)
Actually, today, so many trees caught my attention that I was dilly-dallying which one to choose for my art. Finally, the leaves of the Yellow Bells took home the trophy. Ha! Kidding. I hope I’ve done them justice – those gorgeous leaves that look even prettier against the resplendent yellow trumpet flowers.
The Yellow Bells is not a tree really. (Quoting from the Trees of Delhi field guide) It’s a somewhat unruly shrub, not uncommon in hedge rows. It seldom becomes tree-sized, and this happens more by neglect than design. Native to warm parts of tropical America, widely cultivated in hot , dry climates. Many different garden varieties and hybrids exist.
And, look at the
puddle pool of rain water on that road. Pari was thrilled to play in it!
Sketching these leaves have been an intense exercise in observation and concentration, really!
My focus was to get the shape correct – right from the asymmetrical and tapered base to the toothed margins and long pointy apex. Noticing more intently, I saw that the side leaflets are almost without stalks.
And then, talk about the vein network – whether it was of the Peepal leaves yesterday or the Yellow Bells leaves today – getting the veins right need humungous patience!
During the nature walk too Pari and I observed these differences in leaves, barks, roots – aerial or no aerial. We touched and felt each part, talked about the textures of the bark and leaves, the colour of the leaves and how the under-side sometimes is different from the upper side – glossy vs dull.
These are the fruits of the Yellow Bells. They are pod-like, ruddy brown speckled with white.
Now, coming to the other parts of the art, once the leaf sketch was done, I was toying with many ideas/material to incorporate into it. And then – in a flash, I decided to use my leaf punch on a few pressed leaves. I thought if the punch works, the vein texture on the leaf will add dimension and depth to those punched patterns.
And, I was right. They punched out just fine – as if on paper. I cut up the leaves into random shapes and collaged them into the painting.
Before I glued them, I tried placing them here and there to see what would look best. And then, one by one I pasted them. Once they were glued, I outlined them with oil pastel colour.
I think I really like how the leaf punches and the leaf cuttings add character to this art. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.
Finally, one lovely surprise that we spotted – this ‘Painted grasshopper’ (one of the most colourful grasshoppers in India – belongs to the family Pyrogomorphinae). Isn’t it gorgeous!
To read some more about it and about grasshoppers in general, check this page. I’m sure kids will be very eager to read this. Pari was totally fascinated seeing this colourful creature and couldn’t stop clicking.
If you missed my previous Leaf Art, check out here: