|4/1/13 watercolor, Stillman & Birn Gamma sketchbook|
The flowering cherry trees didn’t get their reputation for being fleeting for nothing. Less than a week after they first started blossoming, they are now at their peak, and today’s stiff breeze was already prompting snowfalls of petals.
On my walk around Green Lake this morning, I spotted an enormous cherry bursting with puffy blossoms, and I knew it might be my last opportunity this year. This afternoon I took my large sketchbook and my trail stool down to the edge of the walking path.
With my typical 8 ½ by 5 ½ inch sketchbook, I prefer to sketch standing up with my paint box clipped onto the book’s cover, but with an 11 by 8 ½ inch sketchbook, I can’t do that. Clearly not one of the en plein air painters who occasionally set up their easels on shore, I attracted more attention than I usually do when I sketch. It was probably the awkward stance: Hunched over my tiny stool, holding the book on my lap, leaning over constantly to dip into my paints on the ground. Everyone who stopped by commented on the tree’s beauty and how its blossoms seemed to appear overnight.
In another few days, they’ll be gone just as quickly: transient as life.