City Parks and Botanical Shows

Parc de la Ciutadella was, and is, beautiful. I had been looking for a place to sketch on our trip, and I needed to be out in nature, yet away from the city while we were in the city. If that makes any sense? So Joanna and I found a lovely park with interesting statues, I sat, and was able to draw for a good amount of time while she relaxed on a bench. The sculptures looked like dragons, or gargoyles, and were made completely of stone. They were at the entrance to the park, and as we walked in, we saw a beautiful fountain with a baby cherub on top of a sculpture. I sat there and drew for what felt like hours, but it was really under an hour, and Joanna is such an amazing travel partner. She just sat taking it all in while watching people go about their day. I always liked to do this too, but I love to have a sketchbook in my hand because my mind is filled with art constantly; it always wants to be drawing, painting, sculpting, or doing something creative. I don’t know if any of you can relate but that is how my brain processes information. After a while, I start to feel for the people that are with me on the trip, even though they don’t mind, or say they don’t mind, and so we make sure to have plenty to do around where we are at in the moment.

While in the park, we were lucky to happen upon a botanical show filled with orchids. We were walking among these beautiful orchids from exotic places all over the world and we saw our first lacy leaf plant from Brazil. I didn’t write the name of it down here, but it looks like the Swiss hole plants that I find on the Internet. Many years later, I ended up getting a plant along the same lines, but not exactly the same as the one we saw that day. The show wais a special for orchids and we were lucky to come across that one plant which stayed in my mind for a very long time. The orchids were beautiful but I did not end up drawing them in the book in time but that plant really stuck with me. I wanted to do a whole series of green leaf plants because I just love the color green. That’s probably why my new series is focusing on trees because I admire how green envelops the Earth. My favorite thing about plants is that when man-made structures turn to rubble, plants will take over and the earth never stops growing; no matter how many times humans try to pull weeds, or re-create nature, it always comes back really strong.

After the orchid show, we walked around the park some more and found an interesting sign on a plaque in memory of lesbians and transsexuals from 2011. We walked farther along into the city, and we came across a protest where the police were starting to come with their riot shield, so we kept walking. We jjust wanted to keep enjoying the city and find more beautiful things to look at. That day ended up being an amazing art day for me, and an amazing exploration day for both of us. We felt like we really got to know the city that afternoon, and the people. I find it important, not only to eat at local restaurants, shop and local shops, but go to local places where the everyday person is walking about. It’s in these moments, where I find my most cherished memories from traveling. I hope this blog finds you well and I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. I have noticed more people read my blogs on Tuesdays and Thursdays but I will try to keep up my one Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine. Please let me know in the comments what day you prefer for my posting these blogs because that would be really helpful. Thank you for reading!

-Karen Hilliard