the rare pear studio blog

Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Thursday, 30 November 2017

cactus crazy, prickly person, succulent sucker!

 CACTUS CRAZY, 
PRICKLEY PERSON,
SUCCULENT SUCKER!

 lead pencil and watercolour echeverium 2017


There is no doubt about it, I have fallen hard for cactii and succulents. 

I have always loved plants, but these guys are a relatively new thing - only in the last few years have I truly appreciated their wonderfulness. 

 cactus blooming, watercolour and gouache 2017

I know they are "on trend" so to speak, and I am just one of the cliche'd masses who have fallen so hard. But I do not care. I have now got a little collection going on... well you know I like to collect. Cannot just have one! 

some of my collection

So I have been buying them regularly, at farmers markets, CWA shops, and regular plant kinda places. I have also taken cuttings, snapped off bits from friends and the odd wayward forage, even salvaged some from the green waste pile at the local tip.

And so easy to make more! I looked on Pinterest and Googled how to propagate them, and made a whole pile of new baby plants the way they told me to. Cactus Mumma. 

some more babies!

(Thank you Internet!)

So now they are breeding, growing, greening and flourishing. And they are inspiring me to paint and draw them, sketch them and photograph them. I have bought books about them (thrift shots are great for this)and am beginning to know their types and names.

sketchbook doodling, ink pen 2017

And if there was ever any doubt about how lovely they are (maybe when I get a few little prickles in my thumb) when a cactus flowers, for a day, the stunning fragility of these tissue paper thin, translucent delicate single petals, these blossoms are mind blowingly WOW! Such a contrast to the tough robustness of the plant themselves.

cactus flower

So I learnt to wrap newspaper in a strip around them to hold them, and plant them, became ever so careful, and forgave the little ouches. One suffers for beauty.

Therefore, I tell you, if you do not have a cactus yet, or succulent... go out and get one. Or two. Or three. Or maybe more. You will find them prickly perfection, I promise! 

 pretty pastel cactus, watercolour 2017