Oil on Canvas, 48" x 48", 2015
Orchid: Cynorkis gibbosa
Native Range: Madagascar
Pollinator: Hawk Moths
Conservation Status: Not-accessed, but locally common
“A first step in shifting perceptions for positive change to preserve our fragile ecosystems is awareness of their beauty and diversity.
The painting, “Coral Fantasy”, was created for a 2015 solo exhibition at the Missouri Botanical Garden entitled, Orchids in the Realm of the Sublime, and this work magnifies one of its tiny orchid treasures.
Bringing awareness to one of the planet’s most threatened ecosystems, Madagascar, this painting and others address beauty and diversity, preservation, and stewardship.
As I studied this orchid, Cynorkis gibbosa, one of the 100 orchid species native to Madagascar, I thought of how one might pass by this orchid on a hike, thinking it to be a low growing wildflower and of little consequence should it become extinct.
Commonly called the Lipstick Orchid, the brilliant tangerine-colored flowers are only an inch in size on spikes that loom 12 to 18 inches tall. Yet, when I magnified the small, clustered flowers with paint on canvas, I experienced the otherworldly quality of this delicately beautiful orchid.
Like coral winged fairies right out of “Fantasia”, the blooms appear to hover, floating like celestial bodies.”