Monday, 16 January 2012

Anthurium andraeanum

Anthurium andraeanum drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
For previous posts related to Anthurium, see Nov. 01, 2009;
Jan. 03, 2011; May 13, 2011

The proper name of this striking plant is Anthurium andraeanum (Family, Araceae – Arum family). The common names include: Anthurium, Flamingo-lily, Flamingo Flower, Oilcloth-flower and Tail Flower.

This popular ornamental garden plant is native to Colombia and Ecuador. The colours range from yellow to red and even multicoloured. In the wild, they flower all year round and can grow up to 3 feet tall.

Now for your botany lesson for today!  The flowers (see gold coloured area above) are actually the tiny blossoms on the slender, finger-like or tail-like spadix [a fleshy club like spike bearing minute flowers, usually enclosed within a sheath like spathe, characteristic of such plants as anthuriums] above a very shiny, waxy, colourful, crinkled, heart-shaped spathe [a leaf like bract that encloses a flower cluster or spadix, as in the jack-in-the-pulpit and the calla lily]. The flowers are sometimes followed by small, fleshy berries (none of these are shown in my drawing). The leaves are large, glossy dark green or even black in some varieties, leathery, alternate, and oblong-heart-shaped to arrow-shaped. The plants are epiphytes [a plant, such as a tropical orchid or a staghorn fern, that grows on another plant upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients. Also called aerophyte or air plant] but can be grown in loose rock, bark, and fibre soil mixtures as well.

While the plants can appear quite striking in an outdoor garden, gardeners should be aware that Anthurium andraeanum are poisonous and contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause severe mouth irritation and swelling if ingested.  Should you have one of these plants in your home, please make certain to keep it where your pets or young children can't reach it!

Now for one more drawing of my favourite flower.  This one also contains both spadix and spathe (see definitions above).  Yes, it is another effort on my part to capture the curving beauty of Calla Lilies.  I don't think I will ever get tired of drawing them!  If you are tired of looking at my efforts, feel free to skip to the next section.

"Calla Lily Still-Life", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012


Now for something truly beautiful...

On the weekend I made a marvellous discovery. I was introduced (online) to an iconographer who writes some of the most beautiful icons I have ever seen. His name is Marek Czarnecki
I wrote to him right away and, delightfully, heard back from him right away! I asked if I might share a few of his icons with my viewers and he very kindly said "yes". So, following are four of the many wonderful works he has been inspired to write. See if you don't agree with me as you view the delicate details found throughout.

Sadly, it does not appear that individuals can purchase a copy of his work since each work is uniquely commissioned by a church, organization, person, etc. Thankfully, he does maintain a gallery online which means that we are able to go and look at the icons and even find out where they are located in case we are going to be travelling to that area. Anyway, for the moment, just enjoy!

The traditional Sacred Heart image has been written as a true icon.
The border legend reads: "Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart."

St. John the Baptist portrayed with an inner beauty, visible even
with his external "wildness" shown with detail. Note the wonderful beard.

This is the iconographer's icon. Here St. Luke, considered to be the first
to write icons, is being shown how to draw Our Lady and the Child.
There are several icons which vie for the spot of being one of St. Luke's
icons, for example, Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

This is such a beautiful expression of that incredible moment when
St. Juan Diego opened his tilma filled with roses in front of the Bishop
and his companions. Can you imagine what it was like to suddenly see,
on this peasant's "cloak", an image of Our Lady in glowing colours
of turquoise and gold?

Please go and take a look at the rest of Marek's work.  It is well worth the effort.  I know I will be going back for frequent visits!


Something even more beautiful than an icon... 

My friend's little boy at the age of 21 months (taken Nov. 4, 2011)
While religious icons are "windows looking into Heaven", the eyes
of our children, in their innocence and clarity, can give us an even
deeper view into our eternal Homeland -- if we just have the eyes to see.


As for Suki and myself, both of us are doing reasonably well at the moment -- kind of in a holding pattern, you might say!  Suki's orbit is the circumference of her padded, "crow's-nest" bed while mine is the area between the computer, my reclining "bed" and the two Catholic TV channels!  Fortunately our orbits intersect very nicely and so peace reigns.

More details on our lives when I post again at the end of the week. 

For now, I need to return to my place of rest as the rib injured in my last fall is beginning to complain!

Oh, before I forget, I managed to get the statue of St. Joseph repaired.  It will never be the same, but somehow, I like it even more now than before it was broken!  My dear friend, Amra, wrote to me after hearing that the statue was broken and said:  "I hope your dear statue will be fixed soon and that you will embrace that "small imperfection" of St. Joseph."  Yes, Amra, I will.

May the peace of God be with us all.

No comments: