Video about volunteers and botanical illustration in a cypress dome (7 min. with closed-captions).
- Credit / Author:
- NPS video by Jennifer Brown
- Date created:
Kathleen: Whoops. Daaa, da, da, da.
Wow, that is so cool!
Do you want to see the coolest things about this orchid here that we found out after looking at it.
See how this is not a flower.
This is a kind of a bract here.
I just can not imagine what it is doing here.
This is an amazing place.
We call it our cypress cathedral.
Whoops! There is that same hole that I fell into before.
You never learn do you, dear!?
You are here in our trailer in the community of Pine Island where the volunteers, and the rangers, and other support people live.
And we are here in the Everglades National Park during winter or the dry season.
You know, usually what I do is I take the plant and I pose it here in the studio.
Studio, you know...maybe not call it a studio.
So then, I make the drawing and I turn it into an ink rendering with a light table.
The Cowhorn orchid will probably take me six weeks to two months to do in watercolor.
It is a process of just deeper and deeper observation.
Try to get some close ups, some real studies of the different elements.
So, in here we have the pseudobulbs and the flowers.
And, look inside to see the parts of the flower, you know, the sexual parts.
This is the capsule.
Looking at the leaves of the orchid.
Trying to get a realistic representation of the actual plant, but in small.
Because I am going to have to go back and reconstruct it in a way that is going to be useful for the people looking at it and not to wildly crazy for me to draw.
Look at this: The little holdfasts are almost kind of a gold color.
Yeah, but you do not see those on the bigger ones.
No, it is just on the little ones because they are just getting attached.
Filmmaker: What are you guys looking at?
These are little Tillandsias...little airplant.
They are called Few-leaved airplants.
When they get big, they get completely underneath the rough bark.
Alright, I am sketching now.
Okay. Sketch away!
The story is that my mother always told me that I could not draw a straight line.
I took a botanical water color class at Fairchild and I liked it.
You get a good teacher like I have and that teacher will say, 'No, you do not draw the plant as you see it. You draw it as you want others to perceive it'.
So, after I make those sketches then I will photograph the plant.
And, I photograph it intensively because a lot of times when I reconstruct the plant, I will do it from the photographs.
So, after the photographs and the sketching, then we take everything back and I assemble all this and I begin the composition process.
And then I sit down and I do the actual botanical watercolors.
No spores yet.
I think they might have a fruiting body, I don't know.
I think a spore is starting.
They are really cool...
But, look at that new fern coming out there.
Look at this fig growing out of here.
Isn't that wild! Look, it is going to strangle this...Geesh!
Here is another Gold foot fern. They are everywhere!
You know, I never noticed them so much before.
Something about the Everglades called to our hearts.
Every year that we come back, we find out something new.
And, we just keep learning.
So, I think that is why it is: It is so complex, there are so many levels.
And, of course, now with me being able to do art...that is a whole other level that has been really wonderful.
We came here at the end of November and next year, we will be here at the beginning of November.
Because I have got an art show in the Coe Visitor Center.