Monday, 17 June 2019

Visit to the Beech Garden, Barbican, on 11 June 2019

In contrast to our recent sketching days out, we had a deliciously peaceful day in the Barbican's upper storey Beech Garden on 11 June. Miraculously dry between days of heavy rain, we enjoyed light sunshine, and astonishingly, Nigel Dunnett's steppe planting design had not been flattened by the downpour the night before. The spring display was over, and the principal flowers were purple alliums, red hot pokers, poppies, and tawny euphorbias, making good shapes amongst various grasses and less noticeable plants. We were very pleased to see a blackbird, a few sparrows and a pair of goldfinches nipping in and out of the main "steppe border", clearly finding good things to eat, and no predators.

Nine artists presented themselves, and we all had a go at the plants one way or another, the soft prairie planting was something completely different from our normal sketching subject matter. Most of our work shows the garden within its Barbican surroundings. Our collage specialist arrived with papers, fabric, and glue, and produced a successful interpretation. There was an opportunity to sketch people drifting around the garden, but only one figure appealed.

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