|8/11/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown, DeAtramentis Moss Green|
and Private Reserve Avocado inks, Caran D'Ache Museum
water-soluble colored pencils, Canson XL 140 lb. paper
When the previous owner lived in the house across the street, the small Chinese windmill palm in their front yard wasn’t doing well. Brown and shriveled, it looked like it was at death’s door. But after Joe and Heidi moved in, the tree perked up and has looked green and beautiful ever since. When a slight wind makes its fan-like fronds shiver, it’s fascinating and a bit hypnotic to watch.
Unlike the tall, mop-headed ones I’ve sketched in L.A. and Las Vegas, these palms don’t mind the cool, wet weather we get around here most of the year, so they aren’t as tropical as they seem. Still, fanning slowly in the high heat (it’s been in the 80s and now 90s daily for the past few weeks – very unusual for Seattle), they make me feel like I’ve traveled somewhere a little exotic. The first time I sketched a windmill palm, it was last year in front of a defunct restaurant nearby that had had a tropical theme. A few months later I sketched another one in my neighborhood. (These trees are especially fun to sketch with a Sailor calligraphy pen!)