Green categories — do you have all five in your world?

July 2022

I delight in sharing special botanical art pieces by special botanical artists as a source of inspiration and pleasure. On this occasion the spotlight is on coloured pencil artist, Christiane Fashek of New York.

The release of my two latest e-booklets, Going Green with Watercolour and Going Green with Coloured Pencil, was delayed while I waited for this summer’s lush and plentiful deciduous foliage here on the south shore of Nova Scotia. I needed actual specimens of all of the five green categories for an upcoming Going Green in-person workshop and to cover what I was laying out in the booklets. But there was no hurrying Mother Nature. Botanical art requires a number of attributes; patience is high on the list.     

Eventually four of the five categories were within a few paces of my front door. But a specimen of the fifth category—the blue-bias green—was elusive. I wanted something more than a sprig of a blue spruce. Then I remembered reading that marvelous book about fungi and lichens, The Entangled Web, by Merlin Sheldrake. He explains how resilient they are and how many lichen species will change colour dramatically as their environment changes from, say, dry to wet. Lichen is abundant on our property and l have more than a few dry specimens sitting on shelves in my studio waiting for that spare moment when I can draw and paint them.  You know, that spare moment that never seems to come.

So you can imagine how delighted and grateful I was when Christiane agreed to share her recent lichen pieces with the local artists in my workshop and my global e-booklet readership.

Christiane’s lichen studies are both a beautiful and wonderful portrayal of the mysterious aspects of the lichen world. Shown in the illustration above is a section of her Parmotrema lichen on an oak log.  It solved my blue-bias green problem by covering the blue-bias green category admirably and, as if that were not enough, also provided a bonus second category. If you have my Going Green e-booklets you will likely recognize both green categories in this piece.

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