A positive outcome of the Covid lockdown is that many of us have rediscovered our locality and have taken to walking the roads and Glounthaune’s new walkway. An added benefit of being outdoors is having an awareness and appreciation of nature. Along pathways such as the Ashbourne Walkway, Crompane Park and Johnstown, you may have noticed signage about the all-Ireland pollinator plan. Unfortunately, the numbers of bees and pollinators are in decline worldwide. This pollinator initiative, instigated by Biodiversity Ireland, encourages communities, farmers, businesses, gardeners, etc., to create areas planted with native flowers where bees can thrive.
These areas not only look and smell great when flowers are in full bloom, but they can provide wonderful subject matter for artists. Wildflowers such as Ox-eye daisies, buttercups and poppies are easy to draw. Daisy shapes are comprised of a central yellow disk, surrounded by white elongated oval petals. The petals of scarlet poppies and bright yellow buttercups are generally heart shaped.
Here is an artwork I did using oil pastels on blue card. Rather than doing a preliminary pencil sketch, I worked freehand, smudging the colours directly onto the sheet. It’s an enjoyable and relaxing way to create an impression of a wildflower meadow. Oil pastels are lovely to use as they create colourful and vibrant effect, although they can be messy to work with. Nothing that soap and water can’t sort out afterwards! You can similarly play with acrylic or oil paint on canvas to create a sunny summer landscape. Keep an eye out for flowers, insects, or any interesting landscapes or subject matter while you walk and have a go at drawing it afterwards. Have fun!
This article was featured in July/August 2021 edition of The Glounthaune Community News
© Maeve O’Keeffe, illustrator, The Frazzled Mammy!