These stunning trees grace Mustique in all their glory during the dry season and the hillsides are dotted with splashes of bright orange, but for the rest of the year they appear almost dead with just their large bean-like pods hanging, until they too drop to the ground, splitting open and scattering their seeds.
Passing below Palmyra House one afternoon I was lured into the garden by the most spectacular tree in full bloom and I couldn't help but cut a sprig off and take it home to sketch.
Once I understand the make-up of a plant in all its detail, such as how many petals it has and how they fit together, how the bud blooms into a flower or how it attaches to the branch, it makes it easier to do a loose water colour in silhouette.
And from here the fun begins, creating a repeat pattern and building up the colours and shading for the various print layers.
Then it's time to decide what fabric to print it on and in which colourway, and finally what garments to make.
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We wanted to make a fun event and a memorable day so we planned to make mortar boards with the graduates, and never mind about the gown! After all, in this heat they'd be too hot to wear anyway! We decided against the traditional black, and keeping to an "island style" theme we delved into my huge box of old Lotty B silks...