"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Monday, 18 August 2008

Leaf of the Day: Turquoise Flowers and 9 Floating Flowerheads

Today I was going to take it easy, make some final adjustments, retro post the other flowerheads and settle down to some work on my other blog. The Latin names of the flowers have to accompany the assignment and I had no trouble with most of them except the Parrot's beak. I had taken a photo of the label but a leaf had obliterated most of the Latin name. So in the end I just had to get on the bike and go back to the gardens. However it is a lovely and quiet place on a Sunday morning which was a bonus and I found some new and completely wonderful things as well as the Latin name for the Parrot's beak so it was a worth the effort.
One flower which is tucked away in a border, almost out of sight, is the astonishing turquoise Green Crossandra, Ecbolium viride. I am not sure if I will get round to drawing it so here is my photo.



It's not a very good photo and does not do the strange and brilliant turquoise colour justice, but you see what I mean. It is so unusual to see this colour in a flower. Pigmentation in plants is derived from anthocyanins and this blue I presume is derived from delphinidin which is responsible for the blue colour in flowers, but I would need to research some more to find out.

There are others, probably the most spectacular being the Jade Vine Strongylodon macrobotrys. I understand there is one at the McKee Botanical Garden at Vero Beach here in Florida. It would be really worth seeing.



This gorgeous photo by annkelliott@Flickr is from the University of British Columbia's 'Botany Photo of the Day 'site here. (Sometimes I do wonder why I carry on painting)
There is also the lovely Ixia Viridiflora from the same site.



I now have to pack up the floating flowerheads, and find some way of protecting them from the ravages of the US and UK postal vandals. My leaf assignment arrived back to me tattered and bent in half, despite being emblazoned with do not bend labels and protected with plastic stiffeners. It is as well not to be too precious about your work, it's only paint on paper after all (and 7 days back-breaking and eye straining toil of course)

Am I pleased with it? Well, it's the curate's egg. Some tiny bits are Ok and I have learned more about applying the paint but basically I hate to have these different disembodied flowerheads dotted about on the one page. However it had to be a variety of different shapes sizes and colours on a prescribed format to practise painting so I guess that is what it is..a practice sheet. Left to my own devices I would have designed it very differently. However here it is, approx 16.5 x 11.5 inches.
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The Floating Flowerheads


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