Mr. Bumpy - Colored Pencil
Now I know this is a gardening blog, but I do find it appropriate to introduce you to my first loves in life, art and nature.
Creativity in its purest form is an obsession. If thinking about a few of your favorite things makes you a bit happier, then why not indulge in immersing yourself in your passions? Growing up I always loved to explore and discover all sorts of animals when I lived in the Mojave desert, so during less exciting points in my life meditating on what brought me so much joy just made sense.
When you create anything, you first need to decide what quality you want to emphasize. For example, in my garden I focus on just one thing, the idea of a rainforest. Now when I think of a toad, I think of circles, since toads are round and so are their eyes, belly and the bumps that cover their skin. So I executed it by repeatedly layer circles over each other with colored pencil. The palette is restrained, so you notice the subtlety of the toad's skin. Focusing on that happy toad made me so happy until it was complete. To the left is another colored pencil piece that follows the same notion of sticking to a single concept. Here I focused all of the attention on the connection between the bride and child, and I even blurred the edges a little in photoshop to emphasize this.
Here's how this relates to gardening. My happiest memory growing up was seeing a treefrog tucked in a bromeliad at the San Diego Zoo, so when I started gardening I immediately knew that I wanted to create a rainforest for treefrogs to live in. After deciding the key concept, I decided to execute it by densely packing lush layers of plants in a naturalistic border. In the backyard's color palette I focus on the color chartreuse so it pops out of the shade. I limit the flowers to purple, red and orange. No pastels, no pinks, no blues and all excitement.
Of course I have lots of bromeliads, and even more treefrogs perched in their cups just like the one I saw in my happy childhood.