Sometimes I take a break from doing fully finished watercolors and just do quick sketches of trees. Here are a number from a recent trip to Tower Grove Park in St. Louis. Henry Shaw planted trees in groups there for people to see the same species in groups, from a distance, from all angles. I find myself noticing species more clearly when I'm there, which is exactly what his educational purpose was in his groupings.
One of my favorite places is a circle of pine trees sometimes called "the Cathedral". It has a worshipful feel, and I did several sketches sitting from my vantage point in the center of the circle.
I also got closer during this past visit to a pair of Tulip poplars I featured in a block print. It turns out that one has a lightening scar curving down its trunk, which adds a sudden and unexpected beauty.
Here's the original view I was drawn to for this tree, from further back and with a second tree as a dance partner.
Nearby are catalpas. I love their intricate, dancing branches.
And I think this last one is an Osage orange. I hadn't been too aware of these trees before visiting Tower Grove, but they have a lovely Dr. Seuss-like playfulness to their trunks.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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