The significance is that the Pōhutukawa (Metrosideros), with its showy scarlet flowers around Christmas, has since shed those beautiful blooms to the wind. The Pōhutukawa comes in many forms and sizes, and it was the shrub I came across in my relatives’ garden which took my fancy on Boxing Day. This was the Pōhutukawa (Metrosideros ‘Tahiti’), a compact shrub approximately 1m x 1m with its yellow flower stalks and the soft sage green of the young leaves I thought delightful. Well, to this artist’s eyes at least. I had an immediate desire to draw it, and trimmed off a piece of branch with a pair of secateurs (with permission from said relatives).
A day later, I set up the cutting on my art table, and basically, just looked at the subject for a long time, testing out various colour pencils which matched the plant best. And, very importantly, I sharpened the pencils before starting. I always work with a paper towel under the heel of my wrist (strange contradiction that), as the pigment does get rubbed off somewhat with the hand passing across the paper. I lightly sketched in the whole image, then took a breather. When I felt the sketch was nearly done I sprayed with a ‘workable’ fixative, which lets me work on top again if need be. I used a small wedge of rubber to ‘tidy up’ a rogue scribble before I closed the art pad. I was happy with my drawing.