It was a mind blowing experience to visit Lal Bagh early morning. I was fantasizing about the visit before actually being in the park – about the feel of the park and the trees in the mist of the morning, about the very feeling of existing in between the vast expanse of natural space. This was going to be my first experience to be in a space like this that early and indeed the experience of being in the Lal Bagh early morning was mind blowing.
I have been personally interested in knowing about the trees and identifying them, which so far I could not do due to other engagements. The reason for me to be a part of this project was also that I wanted my interests and hobbies to lead me to open pathways and pool of ideas that I was consciously not exploring. I had been feeling that I am limiting my scope of thinking and creativity by forming boundaries around me and not looking beyond. Thus I decided to think openly and follow my instinct without bothering about the technical reasons of why I want to get into this and how will it help me in my practice. I only was thinking about the methodolgy that I will follow and which I can use for my practice further.
Indeed there are always things that one learns and is useful at any other time in work. It was a tremendous experience to learn various tools for identifying the trees and their leaves.
I had been afraid of drawing or sketching flora and fauna with free hand because I thought they were quite complex and their humungous property made it worse to draw. But fortunately, in the workshop with Sangeetha, I learnt the blind contour, modified contour and gesture sketching techniques of quickly drawing the live plants and trees and their elements. These techniques have taken away my fear of sketching nature to an extent.
The brief explanation and live examples given about the shape, size and identification of the leaves and flowers have inspired me to stay closer to my interest of knowing and being with nature. The day has also inspired me to be aware of the vast diversity of flora and fauna by continuously engaging and questioning about the nature. I felt a step closer to my natural environment when I was trying to form a relationship with them in the park that morning. The fact that I encountered about trees that they also feel, sleep, grow and count gave me goosebumps and made me think how alive they are. Disappointingly, just because they don’t speak, the trees are taken for granted by humans.
The process of forming a journal for noting down the interesting points and thoughts about the trees was the greatest tool that inspired me to stay connected with identification, sketching, painting and observation of trees and knowing more about them. Somehow, the idea of sketching and drawing has attracted me to do more work and know more about my surrounding trees.