Painting #23- 3 Sassafras Leaves

3 Sassafras Leaves- Original Watercolor 10 x 14; Mindy Lighthipe ©2012

After a week of "Plant Camp" my head is spinning! I learned so much in the 5 day workshop. Some of it was horrifying and some of it was awesome. The horrifying part was learning about how invasive plants are ruining huge ecosystems, particularly in the lakes, rivers, streams and the Everglades in Florida. Government agencies and interest groups fight continually about how, when and where the eradication should, would or could take place. It was mind boggling to see it first hand.

The awesome part about the workshop was that 24 teachers, including myself were trained to identify invasive as well as native plants in Florida. It is the hope of the program that we take all the information we have learned and teach others; especially school children who are the future of our planet. The teachers were selected from applications all over the state. I was chosen and was also asked to do a mini workshop on drawing leaves. I was thrilled to do this because most of the art programs in Florida are being removed because of budget cuts. I was able to give these math, language arts and science teachers a way to introduce drawing to their students and encourage them to create nature journals. They were all enthusiastic and we came up with lots of projects and ideas to get the children excited about plants and nature.

As I continue to process and refine my knowledge I will be blogging about my experience in hope to broaden awareness to all of you out there to be aware of what is going on in your "neck of the woods".

For painting #23 I received a commission from my Etsy Shop to paint the 3 sassafras leaves again. I painted them this past fall as separate paintings and listed them in the shop. They were bought by a fellow botanical artist. This commission was for a woman who has a friend who is opening a restaurant and the name of it is "Sassafras". What a great gift to give to someone. It was great to come home from Plant Camp and spend the weekend painting a Native Plant!

Do you know about invasive plants in your area? If you do please share them with me and the other readers. The more we know the more we can make a difference.