Monday, January 23, 2023

Elegant to the Last


1/18/23 Caran d'Ache Museum Aquarelle pencils in
Hahnemuhle sketchbook 

I know that amaryllis plants can be saved year after year, but even my friends with strong green thumbs say that it’s challenging and high-maintenance, and often they don’t bloom again anyway. I decided to put mine into the compost bin, appreciating all the joy it had given me for weeks.

Last year I made one last sketch when the blossoms were starting to fade and wrinkle, but still had their skirts in the air. After taking a more detailed and documentary approach for most of that amaryllis’ life, I used the last sketch as an opportunity to take a more gestural approach. This year I waited even longer to make the last sketch – as long as possible (if I’d waited any longer, I might have lost petals carrying the pot upstairs). I also took an opposite approach to the rest of the series, which was looser: For this one, I tried to render and scale it more accurately.

Before I became a sketcher, seeing house flowers in this stage used to make me a bit sad. Now I love them even at the very end because they continue to offer me fun – and remain elegant to the last.


  1. I think the flower still has an elegance to it at this stage. Thanks for sharing your sketches of your amaryllis. I enjoyed seeing the progress and how you captured it...especially since I didn't grow one. My sister, Michelle (Mickey) in NJ grew one but she didn't really post the sketches along the way. If you want to see her post I'll add the link to where she posted it. Just scroll down on the Jan 7 post which is probably the top one.

    1. Oh, looks like Mickey had both a red one and a white one! I've never had a white one -- harder to sketch, I bet! Thanks for sharing!


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