Saturday, July 11, 2009

An international exhibition at Mission Trails Regional Park

Examples of my drawings of cacti and succulents
coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I first started drawing cacti and succulents after my visit to California, Arizona and New Mexico in 2006 (see my sketches in California, Arizona & New Mexico (July 2006) in my Travels with a Sketchbook blog). I then started to seek them out whenever I visited the hot dry glasshouses at Wisley and Kew or the Royal Horticultural Society shows to find out more about them and specifically to find out their names. I found I was soon becoming absorbed in the shapes and the colours which were both very simple and very complex. Mathematical and monochrome with a twist - ideal for all artists who used to work with numbers! I now have succulents adorning my south-facing kitchen window ledge - and a gallery of drawings of cacti and succulents!

Recently, my good friend Louise Sackett has been pitching for an exhibition slot in 2010 at the Mission Trails Regional Park in Southern California. The good news came through yesterday. Apparently from 100+ applications only 12 applications were accepted and our group was one of them!

So in November/December 2010, those of you within travelling distance of San Diego and the Mission Trails Regional Park will be able to see the Park's very first exhibition of artwork by an international group of artists - Louise Sackett, Nicole Caulfield, Gayle Mason (who will be exhibiting her wildlife art), Vivien Blackburn, and myself.

Now all I have to do is identify plants appropriate to the area. There's a fascinating list of the habitats and plants on the park's website

Note: Mission Trails Regional Park comprises c. 5,800 acres of both natural and developed recreational acres. Its rugged hills, valleys and open areas represent what the area now now covered by the urban area of San Diego would have looked like prior to the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in San Diego Bay in 1542 (see a timeline of San Diego history). Located eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego, the park was created in 1974 and is now one of the largest urban parks in the United States. This is the trail map and these are links to opportunities for nature study and the Visitor Centre.


  1. Beautiful cactus paintings. Congratulations on the show. I will be one of those in the area that will make the drive to see the show.

  2. Hi, Katherine! Superb drawings you got here! At first I thought they were photographs! Beautiful!

  3. subtle and intricate... just beautiful!

  4. How exciting. I'll look forward to seeing that exhibit. Your cactus drawings are a total delight.

  5. Great art work and fabulous news Katherine, congratulations!

  6. Congratulations to you and Vivien! You know, I just might make the trip to California to see the exhibit! Are you and Vivien going to the opening? Your succulent and cacti pieces are perfectly STUNNING. I'm so happy for you!

  7. Many congratulations, Katherine. What great news. I love your paintings. Made for coloured pencil. I have a few of these plants around the house and garden but have never thought of painting them. (or have regarded them as far too difficult) I certainly don't know the names of many of them.
    There seems to be no end to your talents. Do you ever sleep?


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