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Sketchbook Tour - Tree Ferns

A common sight on many of my favourite bushwalking spots - tree ferns. They're naturally architectural in the way that they define the space above and around us, especially the larger more established ones. Being near them can feel similar to being in the botanical version of a vaulted cathedral.

It's also interesting how their leaves form natural fractals. I think nature has a kind of hidden geometry. The study of these shapes and patterns could easily be a life's work, and still one would barely scratch the surface.

The final colour image above is from the watercolour painting Dragonfly Gully, my very first piece to feature tree ferns.

I enjoy watching peoples' reactions when they see this piece for the first time - at first not noticing the figure or other little surprises, and then the sudden look of recognition when these elements emerge a few moments later. This part of picture making is very satisfying - to take the viewer on a mini-journey.

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