Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Adonis and Loosestrife

I will give you a quick update on my health. At this point I am uncertain as to whether I had the flu or a very bad cold; however, what I have ended up with now is a sinus infection! I say "bah, humbug" to flu and cold season and I hope that I have paid my dues for this year. Fortunately, feeling poorly has not kept me from my art.

Tonight's first drawing is of Adonis annua. Family is Ranunculaceae; Genus is Adonis and Species is A. annua. This plant, native to Africa, Asia and Europe, has a pocketful of "nicknames". It is known as Pheasant's-eye, Adonis' Flower, Autumn Adonis, Autumn Pheasant's eye, Blooddrops, Flos Adonis, Red Chamomile, Red Morocco, Rose-a-ruby and Soldiers-in-green. The most commonly used of these, however, is "Pheasant's-eye".

The Family name of Ranunculaceae means it is a member of the buttercup family. It is described in ancient documents as a"Eurasian herb cultivated for its deep red flowers with dark centers."

This next drawing is of one blossom from the "Alexander Yellow Loosestrife" plant.

Its proper name is Lysimachia punctata and the plant is native to Central Europe. It gets its name of Loosestrife from the superstition that the plant loosens or negates the anger or strife of wild beasts. A study of herbs published in 1597 noted that loosestrife was attached to the yokes of oxen to soothe their tempers "appeasing the strife and unrulinesse which falleth out among oxen at the plough."

Its genus name, Lysamachia alludes to this belief, for it is named for Lysimachus who was a general to Alexander the Great and ruled a quarter of Alexander's divided Empire upon Alexander's death. Lysimachus was said to have calmed a monstrous leopard by waving a herbal branch before it. Whether it was actually Loosestrife or not, the story has stuck.

So, there you have two more flower drawings. That's all I seem to be doing these days. I feel like I am in a bit of a rut. What I need is another project. Any ideas anyone wants to offer me? I am open to your ideas. I have projects that I am still working on but I have already done all the art work for them. Inspiration is what I need!

Peace be with you all.

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