A Flower A Day – A May Journal

Flower Drawings

By Linda Wiggen Kraft
Healthy Planet Green & Growing Editor

May is the busiest month of the gardening year. All gardeners are busy digging in the dirt, planting new perennials, annuals and larger plants. Once planted those plants need watering and nurturing. The gardening season is full swing in May.

In the rush of May, we often forget one of the most critical parts of gardening – to stop and smell the roses. Of course, that saying is about roses, but it pertains to all flowers and plants. In our rush we don’t take the time to really look and connect with these amazing shapes, colors and fragrances of flowers. 

I, like all gardeners, am guilty of not stopping, smelling and looking. So, for this May I am challenging myself to “A Flower A Day” journal. I urge others to join me. What is “A Flower A Day” journal? There are lots of possibilities and no right or wrong way to create a journal.

Perhaps the easiest way is to commit to a different flower each day is to take a photograph. This journal can be online, with a folder titled “A Flower a Day”. Most of us carry cameras in our pockets with our phones. Not only are the lenses great but some phone cameras also do photo editing with lots of filters and adjustments. Phone cameras keep a record of when the photo was taken along with details like date, size, and type of lens. It’s fun to play around with changing colors, lighting and other possibilities. There are also camera apps that alter photos. These too create fun and beautiful images. 

A typical nature journal is another way to create “A Flower A Day”. These journals are bound paper. Art supply stores have many journals. The ones with a heavier paper for drawing, multimedia paper or watercolor paper are best. A spiral bound is often easiest to use. Marks are made with pencils, pens, colored pencils, watercolors and markers. Free flowing ink or pencil lead work best. Again, there is no right or wrong way to create a nature journal. These kinds of journal are sometimes intimidating because of mistaken thoughts of “I’m not an artist”. We are all artists and simply making a line or two that may not look like “right” is an expression of the connection to the plant. There are different ways to “draw” a flower. Interestingly the word “draw” and “to draw out” mean to bring something deeper out to the surface. Drawing looks deeply into something and makes a mark about what is seen or felt. Those marks can be simple and quickly made. One of the easiest ways to draw is contour drawing. 

Contour drawing is a simple way of seeing. All it takes is a piece of paper and pen, pencil, etc. to make marks. Find one flower that interests you, bring it inside and place on a table or in a vase. Take several minutes to look at the flower. See its shape, its colors, the movement of its shape, the wholeness of its being. Open your heart to this one flower and feel a connection. Look at the edges of the flower petals, the leaves, the stem. Pick up the pencil, pen or what you are using to create your drawing and start at one part of the flower. Draw a line that shows the outline and some details that is one continuous line. Continue until you have an outline with some detail. This drawing is a record of the dance of your eye along the edge of the plant. Again there is no “right” way. Often the most intimate contour drawings look the most childlike, but are a memory and recording of really seeing. This way of drawing may not work for every day, but perhaps a few times a week. Or a combination of photos and drawings. 

Whatever works for you will be perfect.

There are lots ways to create drawings, paintings and other creative expressions inspired by flowers. One of my favorite ways is to create “fantasy flowers”. I am teaching a day long workshop called “Fantasy Flowers Watercolors”, June 25. We will play with color, different papers, watercolors, ink, pens, brushes and more. The papers will be wet, and sometimes messy, allowing unique flowers to emerge. No art experience necessary. 

Let a journal of a Flower a Day let you stop to smell the roses, and other flowers. Let it be a way of connecting with the plants to be closer to the beauty and wonder of gardens. 

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and organic gardens. She is also an artist and creativity workshop leader. She is leading a “Fantasy Flower” watercolor workshop June 25th. Find out more about the workshop, subscribe to her blog and Instagram on her website: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. Call her at 314 504-4266. Visit Linda’s booth at the Healthy Planet Natural Living Expo May 15 in Webster Groves. She will have ceramic artwork for sale.