Since most bloggers reading this are plant enthusiasts, I'll be talking (mostly) about depicting plants. And for those who don't blog but love gardening, or animals, or both, you probably photograph or draw or paint your gardens, pets, and so on. So we're pretty much all in this illustration thing together.
Dr. Nel fell on the horns of a dilemma when he wrote his book, "Lithops". He wanted to show how the Lithops looked in situ, in a formal, scientific way. But he also wanted to show how amazing they looked, how they looked to his heart, oh heck- let's- get -corny and say, in a more spiritual, all-encompassing sense. So he used both B&W photos, and watercolor paintings. Here's an example from page 154:
J. J. does it all in one package, huh? Amazing!
So this week, I have a homework assignment for everyone who wants one (and who doesn't want homework??). Find a favorite plant in your collection, and try a scientifically accurate photo or photos. One that will help anyone identify a member of the same species, or in situ. Then choose any medium to do a "portrait from the heart" of that plant. Paint, collage, sculpt, draw, go digital. Whatever you like. If you have a blog, I hope you'll post the results and let us see them. But if you want to keep it to yourself and significant others, no problem. It should be a fun exercise that illuminates our choices in how we depict the world we live in, and those living things we love! I'm going to try it, too, and I'll post the results next Tuesday.