I so look forward to first Saturdays. It was our monthly urban sketching day, and we met at the botanic gardens to see what was in bloom. I'd been out fairly recently to paint the cherry trees lining their road, but I hadn't been inside in a few months. The rose garden (completely unplanted in February) was brimming with rosebushes, so I did the above piece -- though I was as much drawn by the shapes of the hedges and spaces as by the roses themselves, which are only in the background and at the side of this piece.
I did a second quick one of some foxgloves, but we were on a hard and fast schedule. They charged us the full $8 rate (no group rate, as they'd said they would have for us in advance), and they never once mentioned that there was an egg hunt that day, so we'd have to vacate at noon. They tried to throw several people out at 11:00, in fact, just an hour after we'd gotten there. You'd think the staff might have mentioned that small detail when we paid to get in. And my friends I invited for the first time weren't there at noon when we regrouped. I hope they didn't get thrown out. All in all, this was our least hospitable outing to date, even though the gardens looked nice with their blooms.
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Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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