Art Excursion at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Featuring Paintings in the Woodland Garden and the Japanese Garden
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!