29.7 x 42cm
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico extra white cotton rag 300 gsm
SOLD - Private Collection
One fine spring day, the artist discovered that the slopes of the archaeological site at Pella, in the Jordan valley, were covered with this plant in the early stages of a spring flush. They were striking, and painterly. Later that month she planted fifteen of these plants in her garden, specimens she used to create this painting.
Its spiky flower stalk is an attractive sight in a garden, perhaps more elegant than the busier Acanthus spinosus. The upper calyx lip is a beautiful dusty purple shade, and its stamens look a little sinister from outside the flower, like tangled spider's legs.
The Acanthus is native to the Mediterranean and Asia. It grows well in the Middle East and is hardy. The artists' specimens survived several years of winter snowfall in Amman, as well as 40 degree summer days.
The calyx colour is a perfect candidate for the intense purple-brown of Winsor and Newton's Perylene Violet shade.