In April we welcomed Leonie Norton and a group of painters to Daku for a very busy week of botanical art AND holiday sketching. The difficult economic times have affected everyone, and we didn’t have enough people for two separate weeks of painting – so we put the two courses together and had a very productive week of painting and sketching.
The weather was generally lovely, but we had regular afternoon thunderstorms for three days so we switched around our schedules and went on sketching expeditions in the morning, and sat down to the detailed work of botanical art in the afternoon. The expeditions were great fun – we spent a very happy morning on Matuku beach across the bay, capturing the
classic palm-tree edged sandy beach. Watching the artists sketch in the outlines and then fill in colours, I became aware of just how many shades of blue there are in the sea in the tropics –the turquoise of the sandy shallows, the aquamarine of the sea over the reef, the deep blue of the middle of the bay which turned to cobalt as the afternoon clouds started to build. And then there were the greens of the trees – palms, figs, creepers, and many local trees whose names I don’t know.
Another morning we went to Yaukolo gardens and enjoyed a fabulous morning tea made by the owner Louise. She has cultivated a beautiful garden over the nine years she and Jim have lived there, with fantastic palms, orchids, aloes and 26 varieties of ginger. We sat and
sketched the views from the gardens out to the reef in the ocean.
Everyone did both types of art – except for Joan, who was determined to just sit and paint a beautiful arrangement of croton leaves. This was Joan’s third visit to Daku so clearly she knew exactly what she wanted to do and was not to be deflected!