Leaf of the Day: Sea Grape 2

Sea Grape 2 is an experimental image from the course I am attending here in lovely Sarasota. On Nicholas Simmons excellent course “Watercolour on the Edge” we are experimenting with techniques that explore the waterproof qualities of liquid acrylics, allowing layering and washing out. The possibilities are fabulous, but as with many painting techniques, you need to understand how paint, paper and drying times work together. Happy or unhappy accidents have to be taken on the chin as there is definitely no softening of these edges when the paint is dry. It is not for the faint hearted and needs a big stack of good quality paper to really experiment.

Nicholas has an enormous amount of information to share and the course is really enjoyable.. It could not be much farther away from the discipline of botanical painting but that was its attraction for me.
Visit his site at Nicholas Simmons.com and see the lovley Fresh Sushi which won the top prize in the 2007 National Watercolor Society Exhibition.

Sea Grape 2

Leaf of the Day: Sea Grape

A big round leaf from the sea grape ‘coccoloba uvifera’ growing on the shore line at Sarasota. I am attending an art course here and will post more about it soon. I walk by the sea every morning and watch the wonderful pelicans.

The red veins of this leaf are beautiful and the young leaves are a bright reddy orange. The plant is used in the West Indies to produce a red dye. The fruits although not grapes as such, are edible but have a large central stone more like an olive. They are used to make jellies, jams and wine.
On the little British Virgin Island Anagada they make brandy and wine. There is an interesting short piece about Anagada here. Patience must be a key virtue of the Anagadians as they have to let the brandy infuse for two or three years!

Sea Grape