Oil on Canvas, 48" x 72", 2011
Orchid: Cattleya Alice B. duPont (Hybrid)
Native Range: Cattleya species are found in the tropical rainforests of
South America from Costa Rica and Lesser Antilles south to Argentina
Pollinator: Euglossine bees, bumblebees, or honeybees
Conservation Status: Many species of Cattleya are threatened due to habitat degradation and collecting.
“I was inspired to paint this orchid by my many visits to Longwood Gardens. After studying the magnificent Cattleya Alice B. duPont orchid, I also became interested in the rich historical background associated with the woman behind the plant. Alice B. duPont was the wife of Pierre S. duPont, renowned American industrialist, horticulturalist, philanthropist, and innovator.
The painting, "Alice B", was featured in my solo exhibition at Longwood Gardens, where it honored an orchid of preeminent beauty, named after an inspiring woman of grand spirit, vitality, sophistication, and elegance.
I am often asked how long it took to complete the painting given the complexity of my artistic process. Over an underlying groundwork of sculpted botanical impressions, I stacked 70 layers of transparent oil paint, illuminating the subtle shades and patterns formed by the petal’s ruffled white landscape.
“Alice B” took nearly two years to complete, from the beginning of my first creative insight to the last brush stroke of my signature. Yet, I believe the circular essence of a painting’s existence is not complete until it finds its way into the experiences of others."