Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Daniel’s birthday present from my parents last March was a weeklong botanical drawing art class at the New York Botanical Garden.
Unfortunately for him, though, when he went to register for the class, he was told that all students had to start with the basic level before moving on to intermediate and advanced courses. Being the mild mannered Englishman that he is, he acquiesced and was probably the only person in the class with an MA from an internationally recognized art school – one the teacher, in fact, had not managed to get into.
She was flexible, though, and let him work on a separate project: a leaf. An amazingly intricate pencil-drawn leaf that was to take over Daniel’s life for that week and beyond. My entire family was obsessed, and each day we waited for him to return from the Bronx with a leaf that had undergone another five hours of detailed artistry.
He gave the original leaf back to the teacher, but kept the drawing for himself. It will reside at my parents for the duration of our roadtrip. (That said, he did try to pack it in the car).