Sunday, 1 November 2009

Common Flower, Unusual Flower

First, a flu report: I am doing much better, but still have a ways to go. I am certainly able to do most things but find I have to rest a lot more. I have spent the weekend by myself in an effort to keep from infecting anyone else, but I should surely soon be past the contagious stage. Anyway, thanks for the concerns of those who sent get well messages.

Anyway, the first drawing tonight is of a very common garden flower -- possibly one of the most common -- a zinnia. Though the one I have drawn is a hybrid so it looks a bit different than the common variety.

The proper name of this one is "Zinnia x hybrida". The Family is Asteraceae; the Tribe is Heliantheae; and the Genus is Zinnia. Zinnias came originally from wildflowers found growing in the dry grasslands stretching from the American southwest to South America, but primarily in Mexico. Zinnias are especially favoured by butterflies. The name of the genus derives from the German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn who died in 1759 -- although what he had to do with discovering a Central and South American plant, I do not know.

I really like the way the half-grown bulb looks with all those tight layers of green getting ready to spread apart so the flower can escape.

This next flower is not a drawing at all, but a photograph I came across while looking for a photo of another flower.

This is an Anthurium scherzeria. I don't know how familiar you are with Anthuriums, but usually they have a large, coloured "leaf" with a flower spike sticking straight out in front. When I saw this poor, contorted version, I laughed out loud with delight. "What a crazy looking plant," I thought -- "I must have it for my collection." Then, the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to share it on my blog.

I look at something like this flower, and I am totally convinced that God has a true sense of delight in His creation. So often, as an artist, I see colours in nature that are totally unnecessary to the usefulness and function of plants, but which make us clap our hands in pleasure. I think of a hillside in springtime, for example, that would work just as well if the grass was a dull brown instead of bright green -- but not only is the grass green, the hillside is also filled with thousands of different, colourful flowers that make it look like an artist has painted it. And each flower is exquisite in its perfection and loveliness. It really makes me grateful that I have eyes to see and especially sensitive to the burden of those who are blind. Oops, I am preaching again!

Sorry this is so late tonight, but I have been watching movies about saints on EWTN all evening. They are having some wonderful films in honour of All Saints Day.

Well, it is time for me to return to my resting.

May peace be with you all.

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