Oil on Board, 24" x 20", 2011
Orchid: Odontobrassia (now known as Rhynchostele bictoniensis)
Native Range: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama
Conservation Status: Not Threatened
“The inspiration for this work is another masterpiece of the hybridizer’s art. Two closely related but geographically widely separated genera have been brought together to achieve a depth of color and balance of symmetry pleasing to the eye.
This painting is a seminal piece which influenced my use of organic impressions in the backgrounds of my subsequent work. Look closely and you will see actual impressions of the very orchid painting on the surface.
Rhynchostele bictoniensis has been widely used in making orchid hybrids, hence its common name, Mother of Hundreds. This orchid can be terrestrial, meaning it grows on the ground, and epiphytic, meaning it clings to trees, and it is found in scrub cloud forest and pine-oak-Liquidambar forests that cover extensive areas of its native range.
These forests occur in areas where limestone has dissolved to create sinkholes, ravines, and underground streams, forming a complex mosaic with the mountain rain forest. Pine-oak-Liquidambar forests are rich in minerals and the tree branches are often covered in Bromeliads and orchids.”