Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Colorful Orchids

My last visit to Asheville started on a warm day, perfect weather for plein air sketching.  Overnight the temperature dropped and the light rain turned to snow!  My ambition to walk around outside sketching also dropped.  As it turned out I was in luck.  The North Carolina Arboretum just happened to be hosting the 2015 Western North Carolina Orchid Society annual show.  Thousands of orchids filled the downstairs of their Education Building, providing me with numerous subjects to paint.  There were a lot of people viewing and photographing the orchids, including me.

The Orchid family is one of the largest families of flowering plants, with roughly 25,000 species.  They exhibit a dizzying variety of sizes, shapes and colors.  After taking many photos of different orchids I headed over to the cafe for an early lunch.  While in the cafe I did a watercolor of one of the orchids I had photographed.  I had brought my small watercolor journal kit that has a Van Gogh watercolor Pocket Box.  I used a palette of warm and cold shades: yellow (254, 269), red (311, 370), blue (506, 535) and burnt sienna (411).

As noon approached and the number of people looking for lunch increased, I decided to relocate to the other building.  There I found a comfortable chair near the fireplace, which had a lovely fire going, and did four more little watercolors.  I say little because I was using a Strathmore spiral bound 3" x 5" book.