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

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: The K word..slow progress..

I redrew the Kohlrabi today and put a light wash over it and, as I now have a "spare" drawing, I decided to use it for some painting practice before committing myself to the real thing. There are many things I still don't really understand about this type of work. I have said before that learning from books is so difficult and this is a major drawback of the course. One hour with a top class botanical painter would answer many of my questions. I still don't know how thick to have the paint or how wet to have the paper etc etc. I am not used to working on smooth paper and the paint seems to sit on the top of the surface which is giving me a headache when building up dark tones, maybe I need to change the paper. ...so it's trial and error...
I have however come to one very important conclusion. To be a really first class botanical painter you need to be very methodical and very patient. I am not and think I am too set in my ways and bad habits to change. I cannot imagine pursuing this very detailed type of work as a career but I may combine a bit of my own looser style with some detail to create something different. There is room for some experimentation. However I will persevere with this.. but TGIF..
_____________________________________________________

Leaf Trials and First Wash



Kohlrabi Leaf Trials ...


First colour wash for Kohlrabi, 16 x 12" watercolour on Fabriano HP

Friday, 27 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: Kohlrabi Leaves ..yet more drawings

There are some days when you just wished you had stayed in bed with a good book aren't there? Today has been a bit of a disaster work wise, and the only thing to do is just start again tomorrow. I am in a hurry with this assignment, but this sort of painting just can't be hurried and of course things go wrong. So having spent all afternoon drawing the whole wretched thing out on my pristine watercolour paper, ready for the final painting, and laying down the first tones, I managed to get a nice big splash of purple paint on it. So far, for a splashy painter I have been fairly lucky, with only the odd little spot of stray paint but this is, of course, in a non disguisable area. If it were not for this assignment I would have turned it into an insect of some sort..but hey, it's just sods law and better it was at the start of the painting than at the end. So I am drawing it out yet again.. I am getting a bit fed up with kohlrabi!

I did however make some more quick sketches, a drawing of one of the leaves just to sort the shape out and then a quick painting of one of the folded leaves. They are quite complicated with an irregularly serrated edge, in fact nothing is quite regular about them. There are little ancillary leaflets which grow at intervals along the stem (petiole) and the main blade of each leaf has deep divisions at the base, but not always two. As you pull the leaf away from the rounded and thickened part of the stem, there always seem to be 5, 6 or 7 main veins which anchor the leaf and pull away leaving the little indentations on the leaf scar. Fascinating.
Well I guess finished version 2 will be better...Hmmmm. Meanwhile I am going to find some chocolate..
_____________________________________________________

More Leaves...






Thursday, 26 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: Strange Things from the Garden

Yesterday I went to the gardens for a quick visit to look at the exhibition space again and for some more big leaf inspiration. I seemed to bump into everyone, all the gardeners and my friend John, a fellow habitual Leu Gardens wanderer. I think there are only two of us who have become partial fixtures. The gardens are looking rather shorn, clipped and tidied with much cutting back and pruning after the big freeze. The frost damage is everywhere, burnt tips of cacti , browned crisped leaves and leafless trees. It does look bare but I feel the garden is just holding its breath, regrouping and poised to burst into rampant growth again. The weather is warming up and there was definitely a feeling of spring.. even here in the land of perpetual green.

Being the relative newcomer, I am still fascinated by the wildlife and especially the snakes and alligators. I know for the native Floridians they are commonplace but I was delighted to see a young alligator down by the lake, perhaps only 4 ft long. They tell me the young ones of this size are still in danger of attack from hungry larger alligators, so I hope I see this one again.



Pedro, always true to form, had found some new and strange things for me to draw. From the depths of a plastic bag and with a magician's flourish, he delightedly produced these odd furry things that look like some sort of strange rabbit's feet or a furry beak with 2 eyes. And when I say furry I really mean furry. The covering is not like plant material at all, it's thick, soft and woolly and even slightly wavy, like a lambs coat. They are the most peculiar things, but are definitely plants or rather parts of plants.

So what are they? I didn't have time to go and see which plant exactly, but I think they are some of the scales from one of the Dioon Cycads, next time I go I will find the plant to see if I can get a drawing or a photo. Here is a Dioon cone from cycadinternational.com. here



and the "scales" I drew, but now with their backs to you.



The "Dioon" name of these particular cycads is from the Greek, meaning "two egg", because the seeds come in pairs as you can see below. I have written about the wonderful ancient cycads and their bizarre pollination before here. They are amongst my very favourite plants at the Gardens and I really haven't given them as much attention as I should, mainly because of their size. I hope I can get a sketch of this one later this week.... kohlrabi permitting.
_____________________________________________________

Furry Cycad Scales with Seeds





Both images, Pencil on cartridge paper, 8 x 8"

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: More Kohlrabi Sketches

I only had the evening to work today and the deadline for veg is getting very close. So I bought some new kohlrabies, bigger this time and with more leaves. They are not the freshest and the leaves are somewhat limp so I am having to "arrange" them a bit. This is the problem of living in a city. I did go to the local farmers market last Saturday but found nothing better there and I can't find any with roots intact, so these will have to do.
As I can't draw such a complicated piece straight onto the watercolour paper (I would need to rub out too much and damage the surface), I have made a pencil sketch first and think I will also have to work out the leaves in more detail before painting.
This will be quite a big piece. I had to use the big 16 x14" sketch book for the pencil drawing (and had to scan the drawing in 2 halves as you can see).
The new colour sketch is on the smaller 9 x12".

For me, the danger of having to draw and redraw something is getting bored with the image. I do like to get on with the next thing. But it really does pay off if you can persevere. I have great regard for artists who specialise in just one subject ... say butterflies or birds, I just don't have the temperament, but that is the way to true excellence. I have been reading more about Audubon whose dedication and drive was completely extraordinary, the more I read, the more I respect and admire this remarkable man. Even if I had the talent and the drive I don't have enough years left to match a fraction of his achievement...

____________________________________________________________

More Kohlrabi Sketches



Pencil sketch on cartridge 16 x 14"


Watercolour and Pencil, on Kilimanjaro Watercolour Sketch Book 9 x 12"

Leaf of the Day: Big Leaf #1 a Bit of Progress, Big Leaf #2 a Start

I have worked all day to get some more paint on these canvases. It's a good 18 months since I worked on either a large scale or in acrylics and I am trying to brush up on my rusty techniques, and get re-aquainted with bigger brushes and having to stand back, rather than working with my nose 3 inches from the painting surface. I tend to forget how very "plasticy" acrylics are, how horribly quickly they dry on everything they touch ( a mixed blessing) and how much paint I need to cover the larger surface. These are not expensive acrylics though, just student grade which is fine for now for working out these ideas. There is always the possibility of working over in oils later.
I am not at all sure how these will turn out at all, but it's good to have a change.

Leaf number two is the beautiful twisted Snakewood Tree leaf which I had already sketched and made a detail study of here. I think it may be easier to work on at a larger scale as I found the small detailed study very tedious. This leaf has the huge advantage of already being dried up and has not changed since I last drew it, so I can take my time. The other one has been in and out of the fridge for the last few days and is on its last legs now, but I am not so worried about the absolutely correct details in these big paintings, more the spirit of the thing.


Big Leaf #1 Stage 3, acrylic on canvas 2 x 3 ft.


Big Leaf #2, Snakewood tree leaf, Stage 1, acrylic on canvas 2 x 3 ft.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: Using Photos and Copying..

Today, prompted by a question from Sree and something that always comes up when I am teaching, I have been thinking about the use of photographs and copying.
I have not had to use photographs for the drawings so far, but now I am working on these bigger pieces, and want to include some wildlife and have a deadline looming I will be using some photographic help. So for my own sake I thought that I would just try to clarify exactly how I see the role of photographs as a creative tool.

But firstly some moral thoughts on Plagiarism and Stealing.

Copying Photographs
The first most obvious, no brainer, in your face, fact is that if it isn't your photograph and you are copying it without express permission, especially if you are intending to sell the work, you are committing a crime. You are stealing someone else's work, their time, investment in equipment, compositional skills, eye for detail and lighting, hours of hard work which might have involved travelling to obscure parts of the world,etc etc. But worst of all, you are stealing their creativity.
Of course in every art class/group/college, private studio or kitchen table across the world there will be people doing just that. If, suddenly, all photographs disappeared so I think would 90% of the artists.

As a commercial illustrator it was neither acceptable nor professional to copy photos, and you can be sued. Photographers have sued artists in the past, successfully and quite rightly. But I have "used" many many photographs in the past. From sheer practicality, if asked to include the Taj Mahal in a piece of work with $50 fee and a 3 day deadline, it is impractical to take a trip to India. What I would do is find as many photos as I could, do some drawings, and make it my own interpretation. When realistic figurative illustration was fashionable for book covers and women's magazine stories, some illustrators would hire professional photographers, models and costumes to get the correct poses. It cost money but saved time and was not going to initiate a law suit from an irate photographer.

Copying Other Peoples Work
It's theft, morally indefensible, cheating and underhand to copy another artist's work and claim it as your own.
Last year I attended two painting courses, one in the UK and one here in the USA, Both tutors cited examples of students on past courses who not only copied pieces of their work, but then showed them to the tutors, saying they would be entering the work for competitions, printing it or giving it to a friend as "their own work". No malice or deception was intended because the student showed the work to the tutor but the insensitivity was quite unbelievable. They had not been creative, original or honest, which may seem a harsh judgement,but it needs to be said.

So when is it OK to use photographs or copy other people's work? Some simple rules.

If it's your photograph... Yes (but see below for pitfalls)

If you have permission from the photographer... Yes (there are sites such as www.wetcanvas.com which have a library of members photographs which can be used by artists.)

If you are copying a photograph as a learning exercise and not intending to sell it or display it as your own work ... Yes.

If you are using photographic references as a research tool and will construct your own image from them ...Yes

If you are copying someones else's work to learn techniques ...Yes
It's how artists learnt in the past, art instruction books encourage you to copy step by step examples and I do it too. But if someone wanted to buy the work or you are showing in public, you should clearly say it was a copy.



You often see students in Art galleries copying from paintings (here in the Louvre, spot the Mona Lisa) to study technique colour, compositions etc.

If you are are an excellent professional forger, intend to run rings round the overblown pretentious art market and expose their underhand dealing methods, have a damn good lawyer and lot of nerve and it makes a good film...Yes.. (but not of course for personal gain .. that just would not be good form)

It's really quite simple, if someone copied your work you would not be happy (no, it's not flattering) so don't copy someones else's, be inspired, study techniques, composition, colour, lighting, from the work of others, then do your own thing, be creative, be original

Using Photos
Of course it's OK to "copy" your own photos anytime but the pitfalls of using photos are legion. Photos distort, flatten, obscure and mislead. Probably the most disastrous use of photos is in figurative work where an artist has no knowledge of the human body or the skeleton, to be able to correct foreshortening or to understand what is happening in obscured shadow areas. For some reason, paintings of children on the beach seem to produce some of the worst problems. It would be very ungallant of me to cite examples because everyone paints for different reasons and some are beginners but you can see what I mean if you look on the Internet.

So to help avoid these problems here are some basic rules that need to be observed when working from photos, even if the work is to be very stylised or in cartoon form. Usually it is all about connecting hidden lines, i.e. making sure that arms do meet up with the body at the shoulder, hands that do at least look as if they have fighting chance of flexing at the joints.
It usually involves a bit of extra homework and observation which, OK, takes a bit of time but is well worth it. Too many beginners just won't take this small learning step. Hands are always a problem for beginners and experienced artists alike, sometimes just pointing out that they generally have examples to study at the end of their arms seems to come as a complete surprise...

A very basic using photo demo..
Here is a blurry bad photo I snapped of two white ibis.
I am assuming this was the only photo I had of ibis and I absolutely had to use it and I have a half hour deadline. (I have had worse photos to work from, from pet owners..)



I would make 2 immediate decisions:

1. Not to try to make it detailed because I can't see the details of the feathers etc...so it has to be a sketch.
2. To change the composition slightly.

Just a simple tracing of what I can see might give me this, which is unfortunate for many reasons! The front bird doesn't appear have a neck!.. and the composition will look better if the birds are overlapping



To make them look more like birds I need to look at a skeleton of a bird,(quick Internet search found this, not an ibis but it helps)to try to understand more about the underlying structures.



from New world encyclopedia image Rick Swarts

I would then overlap the birds , pushing one into the background, and think of how they are walking, i.e. coming towards me at a slight angle... I would then re-draw them with this and the skeleton in mind.



Finally, redraw or trace onto watercolour paper and add some colour to the sketch.


A very simple sketchy sketch of two ibis.

One of my basic rules is, "if you can't see it well or work it out properly from references .. leave it out". ..Disguise it, use long grass, water, bushes, motion blur, clouds, mist, something else in front, crop it ...etc etc. Nothing can look worse than an "accurate" painting where something has been unclear from a photograph and the artist has had to make it up. It's so easy to get it wrong.

If I wanted to make a detailed painting of the ibis I would have to get much better references, spend some time watching them and ideally get up very close to a tame one or see a preserved skin... Controversial? Yes, and always a problem for realistic artists... your model dead or alive?
This maybe the next post.

Leaf of the Day : Handmade Nation and some Creative Browsing

Procrastination is always a problem for any of my works in progress. It is not helped by many happy hours browsing all the wonderful and creative handmade things that are now produced by individuals and small groups, either in homes or in craft cooperatives across the world. I love the truly "handmade", and I don't mean things that are just assembled from ready made craft items, but really creative and innovative things. From steampunk to crochet, I love it all.

http://www.etsy.com/, http://www.instructables.com/ http://www.trunkt.org/ are just some fantastic sources.

One of my very old favourites is Cynthia Korzekwa's great "Art for Housewives" here which I could probably spend the rest of my life browsing and being inspired to make all sorts of really creative recycled art. At the moment there is a particularly poignant entry

"Agnes Richter, a mental patient in an asylum in Austria, embroidered text on her jacket in a desperate attempt to locate herself in time, space and place. Made in 1895, it is a standard issued uniform given to patients at the time. "


How interesting this piece is.. not the self conscious art of the luvvie conceptual artist, but a real "document".

Filmmaker Faith Levine has put together a documentary due to be screened in March which celebrates the handmade in the USA.

.

Go here to see the trailer and more information and spend yet more happy, procrastination filled, browsing hours...well it is the weekend.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: Beginning Big Leaf #1

I have only 6 weeks to go before I have to put up the exhibition at Leu and, as I habitually do, I make a chart of the time I have left, put it up on the wall and then forget about it. It's just a little ritual which reassures me that, because I have made a chart, I have things under control. This is self delusion of the first order of course but is comforting. Deadline angst will kick in by about week 5.

I promised myself that I would try to get a few large pieces done for the show so today I have been planning those. I want to paint some more leaves from the garden and this is a chance to tackle some of the larger ones.
I have a beautiful big leaf in the fridge which has been there for a while. Unfortunately I am not quite sure what it is. It came from Leu but the tree has no label, which I am not going to worry about for now .

I haven't recorded a piece of work from idea to finished piece before so it will be interesting for me to see where it goes and at what point I probably should have stopped.. .. but didn't!
So first the some tiny quick design sketches, in a 4"x 6" sketchbook, of some ideas I have been thinking about.

I do so wish I could keep exquisite sketchbooks. I have said before that I so admire the sketchbooks that some artists manage to keep. They are often beautifully laid out, carefully and methodically annotated, all the same size and colour, or in matching sets, becoming works of art in themselves.
Sadly I am not one of those artists, I have tried but just can't do it. My sketch books are a mishmash of shopping lists, phone numbers, written notes, ideas, and scribbles and would not be valued by anyone except me. I write on anything to hand to work out an idea. I do try to keep all the bits and pieces though and sometimes find an idea that, at the time had nowhere to go but seems much more promising second time around.

I did manage to get the sketch book out for these prelim sketches...



I next started a pencil drawing which was supposed to be a detailed drawing but I abandoned it, because for some reason, I had decided to try the Bristol Board again .. Very Bad Decision. I really don't like the surface at all, it's slippery and any bit of grit from the pencils makes nasty scratchy marks. So I converted it into a sketch which is still useful and at least worked out the cast shadows that I like so much.
I also had to scale the drawing down to one third of the leaf's size, that too was unsatisfactory, as it is partly the size of this leaf that makes it so impressive.



This small drawing made it seem nondescript, so that made me decide on a bigger canvas size too, a nice big 3ft x2ft
I bought a canvas and primed it a warm dark grey and sketched out the basic design and blocked in a bit. That's it for the painting today.



However I needed to make a more detailed drawing of some parts of the leaf just to understand it better, especially the centre area.. so here is a drawing of a small section which will hopefully help with the painting.
_____________________________________________________________

Big Leaf Detail


Friday, 20 February 2009

Leaf of the Day:Thai Aubergines/Eggplant

A few stripy Thai Aubergines, which have been turning brown in a container in the fridge, but I did like the shapes and their rather comical interaction. When I put them out on the table they looked as though they were having a conversation. They were a possibility for the veg submission but are past their best and really too similar to the fruit. It was a shame to waste them though.

The aubergines or eggplants are from the nightshade family Solanaceae, related to the tomato and potato.


Super photo of these beautiful purple and white Thai eggplant flowers by Kay Ess from Wikipedia here

I must admit I am not a great fan of aubergine except cooked the Andalucian way, Berenjena con Miel, fried and served drizzled with honey. This is the old Moorish way of cooking them and apparently they were introduced to the Mediterranean by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages, the scientific name Solanum melongena being derived from a 16th century Arabic term.

I seldom cook them at home probably because I don't really understand how to use them.
Here is an explanation about how to make the best of these particular little Thai characters from "Everything2. com" here

"Eggplant becomes exceptionally porous when cooked. It soaks up any oil or liquid it is cooked in. Too often, people try to fry eggplant when the pan isn't hot enough or bake it for a slender time. The result is a soggy, bitter mess without flavor, borderline call for take out.
When selecting a Thai eggplant, look for smooth, taught skin with little give. Ensure that the calyx is intact and firmly attached. The sepals should be hugging the eggplant, rough and green. To cook, remove the stem and spiky leaf parts by tearing off. Quarter the small orb and scrape away the brown seeds with a side of a spoon. Add to curry or bake or fry. If adding to curry, wait until the last bubble of the coconut milk when you add the basil leaves. If frying, make sure your pan is hot, put the end of a wooden spoon in the hot oil and if it bubbles around, add your vegetable. If baking, coat with olive oil on a baking sheet, salt and season and wait half an hour until the flesh becomes translucent.
A baby Thai eggplant, along with Thai basil and Kaffir limes is a wonderful compliment to the green curries

Sketchbook page and a more detailed drawing...
_______________________________________________________

Some Asian Eggplants




Thursday, 19 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: Kohlrabi again...



Just the pencil study today... no time for writing... A day full of those "other things" in life which have to be done.

I got started on this study today at 3 and finished at 7. It's 10 inches high and pencil on Arches HP. I am trying to wean myself off the cheap sketchbook now and make better studies. The paper makes such a difference but I still am not 100% happy with this particular watercolour surface. It does have a slight tooth which causes the pencil to catch sometimes and then it needs more working over. Bristol Board I find too smooth but may try the vellum finish...the endless search for the magic art materials continues.

These more detailed pencil studies are useful for understanding how the things are put together. The more you understand, the easier things are to draw, well that's the theory ...

_______________________________________________

Kohlrabi Pencil Study



Pencil on Arches HP. Size 12"x 8"

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: Kohlrabies and Indexing

Well it's getting round to time for the next course submission piece and this time it is veg. I went to Wholefoods the other day for inspiration. I was not entirely overwhelmed by what I found, at this time of the year the squashes are over and the corn is finished but I did like these small purple Kohlrabies. I have never eaten Kohlrabi and read that it is not such a popular vegetable these days but there were piles and piles of them, so someone is eating them.

Kohlrabi Brassica oleracea from the Gongylodes Group.
Kohlrabi's true origin seems unclear, the name is from the German 'kohl' for cabbage and 'rabi' for turnip because of its mongrel appearance. The bulb part is not in fact a root but the thickened lower part of the stem which grows on top of the ground. Its appearance has a very quirky appeal, likened by some to a Sputnik or a hot air balloon. The leaves and flesh are edible and taste like mild cabbage, perhaps slightly sweeter.
Some sites say that the 1st century writer Pliny the Elder described a "Corinthian turnip" which could have been a variety of Kohlrabi. It was described in Italy in 1554, was first grown as a commercial crop in 1724 in Ireland and introduced into the USA in 1806. There are white and red to be found in the local supermarkets here. It is low calorie and easy to prepare. I will try it.

A little footnote to this: whilst researching the Kohlrabi I kept seeing a reference to the American Society of Indexing, here. As 90 % of my books have been reference books, I LOVE indexes. A good index is a complete joy and I feel bereft and sad if a book does not have one. I am 100% behind their aims to improve indexing in general. It is a fascinating site and one that gives hope to the disorganised. They have workshops.. lucky Chicago, who in October got "Taming the Wild Project List: Organizing Tools for the Complex Life: by Do Mi Stauber. Couldn't we all do with some of that!
However, having looked at the site, I am still not exactly sure why Kohlrabies and indexing go together. They do have the Order of the Kohlrabi which is bestowed on volunteer members who are deemed to have given great service to the cause and these lucky recipients become proud owners of the much coveted Kohlrabi pin.
They clearly state that "The American Society of Indexers did, at its 2000 convention, associate itself with the vegetable, kohlrabi," but not why...
Perhaps the significance, to indexers as a breed, is explained by their endearing motto;

"Kohlrabi: no one knows who we are, or what to do with us."

Here are some prelim sketches and colour studies... there may be quite a few more..
________________________________________________________

Kohlrabi Preliminary Sketches






Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Leaf of the Day: Breathe Easy Ephedra

Today a couple of stems of the rather nondescript ephedra Ephedra major, the Joint Fir, growing quietly and innocently in the Arid Garden at Leu. A medicinal plant extraordinaire which I had overlooked until I was prompted by Eric to consider its very ancient history. Who ever would have thought that was the original source of the very potent drug ephedrine, the airways expanding ingredient of old asthma inhalers that made your heart beat so very fast you thought your eyes would pop out of your head but mercifully stopped the gasping and let air rush down into your desperate lungs.. no wonder it is controlled now. My brief research seemed to indicate it is prohibited by law to sell ephedra here in the form of dietary supplements. Go to the FDA the US Food and Drugs Administration here to read more about its ban and hazards.



These curious plants are very ancient and odd. Dating back to the Triassic period (200 MYA) they were companions to the cycads, ginkgos and early conifers. They are one of the three members of the Gnetale order. The other two genera, Gnetum and Welwitschia, are even stranger and I hope to come across them one day.

Ephedras are drought-resistant shrubs growing to about 4 ft height with slim jointed stems and reduced scale-like leaves which grow in opposite pairs at each joint. Male and female "flowers" bloom in spring on separate plants in cone like structures which are followed by small brown to black seeds.


Image and info about plant evolution here from Maryland University's succinct page.

Known as a significant medicinal plant by the Chinese for centuries, the Asian species of ephedra have much stronger concentrations of ephedrine than their New World relations. It was discovered that as long ago as 48,000BC Neanderthals had prepared a burial site inside a cave in Iraq where the bodies were found to be surrounded by eight medicinal plants, amongst them Ephedra viridis.

Here the native Indians made teas from ephedra for all manner of disorders, including stomach and bowel problems, colds, fevers and headaches and made poultices for burns and ointments.
With the arrival of the European settlers it became known as Mormon Tea, Brigham Tea, Cowboy Tea, Whorehouse Tea, or Squaw Tea.

"Early Mormon settlers, who abstained from regular tea and coffee, drank the beverage made from this plant. A handful of green or dry stems and leaves were placed in boiling water for each cup of tea desired. It was removed from the fire and allowed to steep for twenty minutes or more. To bring out the full flavor, a spoon of sugar or some strawberry jam was added depending on individual taste.
Other white settlers used a very strong tea of the plant for the treatment of syphilis and other venereal disease, and as a tonic. It was standard fare in the waiting rooms of whorehouses in early Nevada and California. It was said to have been introduced by a Jack Mormon who frequented Katie’s Place in Elko, Nevada during the mining rush of the last century.

from Wes Larson's Mormon Tea web page here

In its strongest form, the dangerous má huáng tea made from Ephedra sinica is very potent. Used by the Chinese for more than 5000 years for asthma, upper respiratory infections, fever and congestion, one of its characteristics is the speeding up of the metabolism as well as heart rate, which has made it alluring to slimmers. However, a helpful site ( still trying to sell you the pills ) does state that "serious dangers such as death" are recorded side effects.. Hmm what else do you need to know.. perhaps just eat less.. ?




Also at Leu is an ephedra distacyia or sea grape, which Trade Winds Fruits here say has edible berries I will let you know. :)

_________________________________________________

Ephedra Major, Joint Fir.