Acanthus mollis


Acanthus mollis 

Bear's breeches

2015


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.



Heidi was awarded a Certificate of Botanic Merit at the 2016 Society of Botanical Artists Exhibition in London for this painting.  This award was judged by Lucy T Smith of the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew.  For more, see the Making a Mark blog site.