Penstemon Comarrhenus. Dusty Penstemon, Scrophulariaceae Family. ©2011 Donald Davidson.
If you haven’t heard of Donald Davidson, he is an artist from the Traveling Artist Wildflowers Project through the National Park Service. For those who aren’t familiar with the project, here is their info from their main page:
The mission of this project has been to encourage public awareness of native plant conservation through promoting the role that the visual arts can play in supporting that effort. Primarily set up as a means to create a continual source of visual documentation of the flora that make up such a large portion of our nation’s rich cultural heritage, the Traveling Artist Wildflowers Project has grown to include interpretive, educational and outreach programs. For more information:email@example.com or 202.744.3647.
His work represents his travels all over the western United States and Puerto Rico. His large portfolio of botanic illustrations, which you can view through the TAWP page, come from these regions’ national parks. For his dedication to the National Park Service, Davidson has been awarded the “President’s Volunteer Service Award.”
In contacting Mr. Davidson for permission to use his images, I discovered that he is teaching a workshop this spring, Botanical Illustration of Native Desert Flora–2011. It will be going on from April 8th through the 10th at the Desert Studies Center in the Mojave National Preserve, which many you have passed driving to Vegas, in Zzyzx, California. The link has contact information and class fees included. The class description sounds like it’s going to be a great workshop:
As much “art for botanists” as “botany for artists,” this workshop takes place during the height of the desert blooming period, so look forward some very exciting plein-aire drawing and watercolor painting! All ability levels welcome - we’ll go over basics of line control, proportion, color and focusing/perception skills. Plant identification will be reinforced with detailed dissection work in a well equipped lab.
If you needed any further inducement to attend, Zzyzx is only about an hour outside of Las Vegas.
Again, Donald Davidson’s work is beautiful and well worth setting aside an afternoon to pour over. I’m partial to his Penstemons, but I’m biased. So much that I used one of his drawings of Penstemon eatonii as a basis of a hand sketch which I made for the blog’s banner. I’m excited by the prospect of this workshop so I can get the skills to make my own original field studies to put up there!
Penstemon bracteatus. Platy Penstemon. Scrophulariaceae Family. ©2011 Donald Davidson.
All images ©2011 Donald Davidson. Used with permission. Distribution without written permission is strictly prohibited.