Saturday, March 12, 2016

Out of the Box Botanicals

Big Cypress Box, oils on wood tobacco box, 5.25" x 4.5" x 4.5".

Preparing art for the upcoming BASNCR show, "Off the Beaten Path" has been fun, if a lot of hard work. The theme was to present botanical art that went beyond the traditional format to be "out of the box". The Big Cypress Box, a piece with five tiny oil paintings on a gessoed cigar box that I'd started many years ago (I can't recall exactly when but I think it was around 2001) and hadn't quite finished, seemed like a perfect piece for this show--botanical paintings literally on the outside of a box!  

Big Cypress Box: right side and rear panels.

Five miniature oil paintings of various plants and a butterfly native to Big Cypress appear on each of the sides: bromeliads (Tsillandia fasciculata) appear on the top and rear panel. Coral bean (Erythrina herbacea) is on the front panel, Florida's state butterfly, the zebra longwing (Heliconius charitonius) on the right hand side, and bald cypresses (Taxodium distychum) on the other.

Big Cypress Box: left side and front panels.

Decorative stripes in red, green and yellow outline the edges so that the design wraps around the box and creates the illusion that the paintings flow into each other. Next week I'll show you how the painting of "The Holly and the Ivy" I was working on back in December turned out.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

First Signs of Spring 2016

First Crocuses  of 2016 (Crocus tommasinianus)>

That harbinger of spring--the crocus--has begun to bloom in my yard. Today the first patch of Crocus tommasinianus planted two years ago, is finally putting on a show under the cherry tree in front. The early daffodils are also coming up.

White hyacinth buds (Hyacinthus orientalis).

My white hyacinths are also starting to show their buds--I'd almost forgotten where I planted them. It seems that we may yet have an early spring, provided we don't have any sudden cold snaps. The past two years spring has been so late in our area, a change would be very welcome.