Crocus watercolor for Botanical Sunday by Mei Leung

Virtual Botanical Sunday 2020

The best solution? Virtual Botanical Sunday!

2020 has thrown everyone a curve ball with the Covid-19 pandemic. I had really been looking forward to a field trip to somewhere new and to mingle with my fellow illustrators as we observed our botanical subjects and interpreted them in our own way. It can be hard to carve out the time to stop being a human doing, and slow down and enjoy life as a human being.

This event was supposed to be held at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we had to improvise. I’m learning to love to improvise, and so here are the results from our first Virtual Botanical Sunday. It was very exciting to see that a few members decided to play with some of the techniques that were included in our Technique Demonstration Day earlier this month. Kudos to you for picking up something new and giving it a test drive in real life, and then sharing the results with all of us.

I want to personally thank those members who participated and submitted their beautiful creations to share with everyone in this uncertain time. We may not have control of what is going on out there in the world, but we do have control over how we choose to respond in our own lives. I ask each and every one of you to set aside a little time to meditate, to observe, to be present in your life and find the little things that we all have to be grateful for. I can only hope that one of the most valuable outcomes from this pandemic is that we all learn how to slow down and appreciate what we have, right here, right now.

With Mindfulness You Can Be Virtually Anywhere

As I sat in my studio, miles from Tower Hill Botanical Garden, I had a little bit of fun imagining what is would be like to be in the garden. My mind happily launched into this little distraction. I could feel the warm humidity from the greenhouse invite me into the sheltered indoor garden. My nose picking up the scents of blooming flowers drifting from their manicured beds as I walked along the pathways. My eyes observing the various colors, textures, shapes and patterns of each plant as I strolled past looking for something that captures my attention. My ears listening to the muffled footsteps of other visitors as they wander past me, or the delighted laughter of a child trotting around with joyful abandon. My body quietly settled into this virtual field trip, taking my cues from the images my mind created while my hands happily focused on the begonia subject I had in front of me. This was a great exercise in not only artistic creativity, but also mindfulness practice of meditation.
Be Here Now – Keep Illustrating!
Wendy Chadbourne