Tuesday, 22 May 2007

The Orchid Thief

I have to thank Susan Orleans for this painting.I read her non fiction book the Orchid thief and have been hooked ever since. The hospital orchid painted and shown in an earlier post started my research.
The Orchid thief made me truly mad for Orchids.I have a small collection of three species at the moment.
In her book Susan Orleans spends two years in Florida following around John Laroche and coming into contact with Orchidmania.The growers, the nursery owners, the collectors, the orchid shows, and the interesting history of Orchids.
In the Fakahatchee swamp grows one hundred and fifty Ghost Orchids, with no leaves, and growing hidden on tree's and rotting stumps.The white flower mysteriously appears seemingly hanging in mid air.
The book needed pictures, but afterwards I googled for one to paint.This is a famous shot i guess the white frog flower dangling in front of the tree stump.White petals with lime green edging.The chlorophyl filled roots cover the tree stump, working with the fungus present.
Thats why they cannot be grown successfully outside of the swamp.The conditions are too specific, but that also makes them rarer.Laroche wanted to be the first to grow Ghost Orchids outside the swamp, it would have made him rich.
I have painted it with Acrylics,I did not have enough black paint so the darkness is a mixture of prussian blue and brown.It contrasts with the ghostly flower hanging in the air!

1 comment:

kathleen said...

This is a strong, evocative painting, Snappy. It has a Matisse-like quality, but a definite character of it's own. I was led to your blogs through your comment on Angela's blog (I'm her mom, by the way).

Kathleen (Proud Mama)