Tradescantia bouquet

Bouquet of Tradescantias

T. zebrina

T. pallida

T. sillamontana

T. coelestis


29.7cm x 42cm

Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico Extra White 300gsm cotton rag

More graphic design than is usually involved in Heidi's work, this piece celebrates the Tradescantia, or Spiderwort, a genus of around 75 known species from the Americas. They were introduced into Europe as ornamental plants in the seventeenth century and are now grown as such in many parts of the world.

The purple intensity of T. pallida is difficult to describe in words, although a combination of Perylene Violet and French Ultramarine with a touch of Permanent Rose in several layers was a reasonably close reflection of nature. It was certainly satisfying to paint this velvety deep shade.

The blue flowers of T.coelestis lasted ten minutes after being cut, so some garden work, and fast sketching, was required.

These plants were collected from an important garden in the Middle East.