Color + Form Research


Spent a drizzly hour+ marching around the South African garden at UCSC Arboretum, taking reference photos of proteas for the upcoming kit, inspired by Keli’s free-style flowering.


So many other-hemisphere plants to see. Not all are in peak bloom, but I was more interested in surveying the range of protea forms, their structures and colors.


I didn’t even concern myself with recording variety names, since I plan a sort of hybrid form for the kit. But the colors, the colors!



This one is a Leucadendron, “Inca Gold”. So luminous.


In the transition zone between South Africa and succulent gardens, there were flowering eucalyptus. The scent was heavenly! There’s nothing quite like being in a deserted botanical garden on a rainy day, with only hopping bunnies and many small brown birds.


Look at the subtle coloration and bold pattern of this succulent.


Again, but with the spiral nature of growth (and decay).


These were quite a surprise. Smallish, leathery, spiky, but what?! If I had done these colors I would call it a mis-step, but now I am emboldened.

This field trip was a wonder. I’ve many more examples of natural plant colorations that will probably necessitate having to buy more markers.


15 thoughts on “Color + Form Research

  1. marion379 says:

    Nancy, yes, the colors are simply stupendous! Am in CapeTown right now and proteas are growing wild in the bushland.. but only a few varieties are in bloom right now. Tomorrow I will go to the botanical gardens of Kirstenbosch. Let me know if you need more pix..

      • marion379 says:

        hi nancy, unfortunately the bloom season is already over… so, there was not much to take photos of. and they ones that are blooming now have extremely fine parts – not sure if this is really possible to make in mini.
        let me have your mail address and I send you what I have.

  2. catholicquilts1 says:

    Oh Nancy, I do hope you make Protea kits. I fell in love with Proteas when my husband and I visited friends in South Africa. He surprised me one year on our anniversary with a Protea, I was blown away. In one of my houses, the gentleman’s room has all his memorabilia from his safaris so a Protea would be right at home.

  3. Jodi Hippler says:

    If those colors, shapes and textures don’t make your heart sing you must be dead! Beautiful photographs, Nancy!
    My “Nancy Kits” stash has been joyfully depleted during 2017. So excited to know when restocking time comes there’ll be some amazing new flower kits to try!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thank you, Jodi. The gray light makes for good, natural color. I’m working on the center bits today, trying to solve for scale and materials. And I am so appreciative of your enthusiasm and support :)

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