Monday, November 14, 2011

Magnolia macrophylla

I took a workshop this weekend with Lara Call Gastinger and painted this Magnolia macrophylla leaf. I've discovered a bit of a passion for botanical art but I did sketch this in my book first. This magnolia is huge. Some of its leaves are about 3 feet long and the blossoms are gigantic. This tree in in the Wilderness Walk at Historic Kenmore Plantation in Fredericksburg, VA (where I work). The tree is surrounded by other huge specimens and has to fight for sunlight. As a result the blossoms are often near the top of the tree and all we can see are the undersides. Last year, one bloomed low enough to see and it knocked me out. The common name for the is the Umbrella Tree and for good reason. It almost seems bizarre. I used watercolor on Fabriano Hot Press paper. The leaf and painting of it are about 16 inches long (tall). I painted it horizontally but when someone turned it during the critique, we all decided it was better this way.

12 comments:

  1. Wonderful performance Paula! Very very graceful!!

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  2. Paula, I think there is a botanical artist inside you ... screaming to be let out!!! This leaf is fabulous!!

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  3. I admire this so much. The twists and subtle colors couldn't have been easy to paint, but the finished leaf looks effortless

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  4. Gosh Paul, the size of the leaves and blooms sounds amazing! Absolutely lovely sketch, your detail is beautiful. I also like doing botanicals, it satisfies that 'fiddling' urge in me!

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  5. Thank you for all this wonderful information, as well as your beautiful capture of your subject.

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