For the first meeting of the Botanical Watercolor Workshop I would like each of you to collect a weed, or two, as your specimen. The more common and despised the weed, the better.
Try to collect the entire plant, if possible. Also try to collect examples of every part of the plant that you can observe: leaves, stems, flowers, seed pods.
Place your specimen in water immediately. Weeds can actually be quite fragile and they might only last one or two days with roots attached, maybe only a few hours with no roots attached.
I’ve created a short weed diary below, documenting some of the most common, most pissed upon specimens within a couple of blocks of my urban apartment, in the city center of Berlin. I’m excited to share with you during the first class how I have transformed some of these specimens into elegant botanical illustrations.
I invite you all to become Sidewalk Botanists, a term borrowed from 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire used to describe the figure of the flâneur. With a few city blocks being the current limit of much of our movement, let’s take this as an opportunity to focus in on oft overlooked subjects. Through a process of close observation, we will be getting to know some of our weeds intimately over the next couple weeks.