Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Medinilla magnifica

Medinilla magnifica, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
 On the weekend, I only had a couple of things I needed to get at the grocery store and so on the way out, I stopped at the florist section to enjoy looking at the beautiful plants.

First I looked at the purple Calla Lilies they had just gotten in -- oh, so pretty.  Next I spent some time looking at all the different Orchids that had come in recently.  Then, just as I was about to leave, I turned toward an area where I had not looked and saw, sitting proudly on the shelf, a huge pink plant of a type that I had never seen before!  Of course I had to take a closer look.

I knew right away that this was a plant I wanted to draw and so you now see my rendition of it above.  It is a plant called Medinilla magnifica.  (I felt the word "magnifica" was a good omen since this is my last posting in the Month of Mary and she is certainly God's magnificent creation!).  I spied a brochure attached to one of the leaves and was able to get both the correct name and the web site for the plant (imagine a plant with its own web site!)

Some of the advertising photos for Medinilla magnifica
After I got home, I checked out the web site right away and this is what I found out. 

There are approximately 400 species of Medinilla, of which until now only the magnifica is supplied as a houseplant. Medinilla is a genus of flowering plants in the family MelastomataceaeMedinilla magnifica finds its home these days in the mountains of the Philippines. It is an epiphyte, which is a plant that grows on other trees but does not withdraw its food from those trees as parasites do. This type of magnifica is the only Medinilla with splendid pink leaves and such a large flowers. These drooping clusters of rosy pink flowers, give it a common name of Rose Grape.  M. magnifica is native to tropical regions of the Old World from Africa (two species) east through Madagascar (about 70 species) and southern Asia to the western Pacific Ocean islands. The genus was named after J. de Medinilla, governor of the Mariana Islands in 1820. This plant can reach almost 2 meters (6 feet) tall and is considered by horticulturalists to be a "shrub".

A careful reading of the botanical literature seemed to me to make an effort to discourage individuals from trying to keep this plant in their homes as it normally requires hot house conditions in order to survive plus it can take up a lot of space when in full bloom! There is lots more info but I will leave you to do your own research should you desire to.

Of course, I couldn't resist playing with the image a bit.  Here is the result when the "colour inversion" option was used.  I actually really like the way this one looks.  I think it might make a very attractive birthday card for someone!

Medinilla magnifica using colour inversion software, drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
By the way, for those of you who do not know, I am very fond of elephants.  Not fond enough to keep one for a house pet, but very fond nevertheless!



Speaking of elephants, I was thinking that maybe there are a few photos in my collection that I haven't show you yet.  If you have already seen them, just force yourself to enjoy their cuteness all over again!

"I love you, Mommy" 
"I love you too and no, you still can't have your own Smart phone"

Best Friends Forever (BFF)

"Aw, come on Mommy, let's play some more... please...PLEASE"

C-A-R-E-F-U-L...  don't slide into the water hole! 



Photo of Suki altered to look like a
pencil sketch (more or less)
  Well, what to tell you about Suki...  She is suffering greatly at the present time ever since I decided that she was getting fed her favourite food too often.  I suddenly realized one day that she had somehow gotten me to the place where I was feeding her 3 small cans of cat food per day!  Everyone knows that 2 a day are sufficient (except Suki) plus a bit of her expensive dry food (which she only eats when she is desperate). 

As you all know, she is a very clever cat and knows how to come after me when I am at my weakest and most vulnerable -- in order words, when I am trying to sleep!  Have you any idea what it feels like to be awakened by a scratchy cat tongue licking your face!  Then when she is pushed away, she waits until I am almost asleep again before returning to the face washing.  After a while, I begin to get desperate and willing to do anything to get her to stop.  Somehow she senses when I have reached this point for before I even make a move, Suki stops the face washing and begins to purr and rub her head against my chin.  This final act, seemingly so sweet and loving, weakens me to the point of surrender and I get up and open another can of cat food.  And I swear that in the dim light of the hallway, it really looks like Suki is smiling!

I, on the other hand, am also smiling because I am holding out more than Suki realizes and I am getting closer and closer to my goal of 2 cans of cat food per day!

As for Sallie, I am doing well in spite of the lack of sleep!

Actually, something quite amazing has happened over the past three days.  On Monday morning I received an email from a European priest working in China.  Due to the way these matters are arranged in China, he is actually not working in a church, but in a profession for, as he puts it "direct evangelization work is not possible."  However, he seems to be very involved with a church as he is helping in the design work of a new one.  Evidently, those building the church desire to have the Stations of the Cross in the form of icons.  These, as I understand it, will be on a screen behind the altar.  I cannot quite visualize how you would have the Stations all placed at the front of the church rather than around the walls; however, I think it quite possible that I do not really understand the design!  Whatever the case may be, he, the priest, thinks that my icons of the Stations of the Cross will be just what those involved in the project will want! 

So, I am having to take each one of these drawings, save them at 600 dpi and then send them, a few at a time, in an email.  I am going to paste 4 thumbnail size reproductions of these icons at the bottom of this section so that you can be reminded of how they were drawn.  As you may recall, I had no other icons to use as models or patterns since the Orthodox do not normally make use of the Stations -- this is a Roman Catholic tradition.  Whatever the case, I hope that those people in China find them satisfactory and helpful to prayer -- that is all I really ask.  If this is something that will give glory to God, then He can make it beautiful.  I leave it in His hands.

Jesus is Condemned

Jesus takes up the cross

Jesus falls the 1st time

Jesus meets His Mother

And so I pray, as always, that the peace and joy of God will fill our hearts and minds in the days ahead.  Amen.

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