Oil on Canvas, 20" x 20", 2020
Orchid: Caleana major
Native Range: Eastern and Southeastern Australia
Pollinator: Male Sawflies
Conservation Status: Threatened due to climate change, fire and habitat loss
“Orchids represent one of the most diverse plant families, exhibiting the most unusual shapes, sizes, pollination strategies, and habitats on the planet.
With a common name like the Flying Duck Orchid, Caleana major, is a delightful example of nature’s evolutionary artwork. Found only in specific areas in Australian, the plant is terrestrial, meaning it grows from the underground tubers which supply its nourishment to produce tiny 1” flowers.
I was originally determined to paint the this orchid to share the sheer entertainment of its resemblance to a flying duck. But like many of the orchid species I research and study, information was overlayed with real time catastrophic events which changed my perception of the flower’s significance.
The recent unprecedented fires in Australia made this little orchid a giant poster child for the escalating human and environmental tragedies associated with climate change.”