Erin Blumer
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Art Excursion at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Featuring Paintings in the Woodland Garden and the Japanese Garden

Bridge in the Japanese Garden, along with my watercolor palette and brushes. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

Bridge in the Japanese Garden, along with my watercolor palette and brushes. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

This week, I went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO to paint— the weather was beautiful, and there's nothing like autumn at the gardens.  I also tried out two new papers this week, an Arches cold press and Cartiera Magnani Portofino, a hot press paper.  Nearly all of my watercolors up to this point have been on Arches hot press watercolor blocks, which I love, but I wanted to expand my horizons a bit.

Painting in the English Woodland Garden

My chosen painting spot by the stream. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

My chosen painting spot by the stream. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

After wandering the gardens for a bit, my first stop was at the English Woodland Garden, a lovely spot with lots of meandering paths and benches to sit on and enjoy the flowers and shade.  I picked a spot next to the small stream that burbles through the garden.

My painting of the stream held up against the forest background. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

My painting of the stream held up against the forest background. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

The painting of the stream was my first stab at painting on cold press in I don't even know how long.  For a second smaller painting, I returned to more familiar territory with the Portofino hot press paper, though I discovered that this particular paper holds onto paint much differently than the Arches hot press I'm used to.

Hydrangea leaves on the left on the Portofino hot press.  The stream is on the right, painted on Arches cold press paper. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

Hydrangea leaves on the left on the Portofino hot press.  The stream is on the right, painted on Arches cold press paper. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

Painting in the Japanese Garden

After I finished up my painting of the stream and hydrangeas in the Woodland Garden, I decided to move on to the Japanese Garden, which has lovely water features, bridges, a rock garden, and other visual feasts.

View of the bridge to the tea house island in the Japanese Garden.  Just look at that gorgeous blue sky! ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

View of the bridge to the tea house island in the Japanese Garden.  Just look at that gorgeous blue sky! ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

By the time I started painting here, I knew I only had time for one more piece, so I decided to experiment further with the Arches cold press paper.  I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the results!  I loved the way that my wet-into-wet and dry-brush techniques played on this paper texture— it's very different than what I'm used to with their hot press.

Watercolor painting of the bridge to the tea house island in the Japanese Garden on Arches cold press paper. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

Watercolor painting of the bridge to the tea house island in the Japanese Garden on Arches cold press paper. ©2016 by Erin Blumer.

I love the way the paint spreads and feathers on this paper; it's a wonderful effect for a landscape painting like this.  I'm definitely going to keep using this paper and see how it works for a more detailed floral, and perhaps a portrait or a painting of a critter as well.

I'll have one more art excursion this year to meet my goal I set for myself— hopefully the weather will hold up well enough that I can continue to paint outdoors!

Erin BlumerComment