Oil on Canvas, 40" x 30", 2008
Orchid: Paphiopedilum Saint Swithin
Native Range: Borneo
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
“Although my paintings exhibit a strong fidelity to nature, my intention is to capture the spirit or essence of the flower, selectively emphasizing the evolutionary marvels of each species.
My large-scale canvases seek to entice the viewer to journey into the orchid’s exotic environment - to experience the world from a bug’s eye view.
The background of “Swirling Nymphs” is vigorously layered with complementary colors which capture light to achieve a swirling flow of vibrant luminosity.
Very few of the 130,000 or more orchid hybrids are ever made more than once and fewer still stand the test of time. Paphiopedilum Saint Swithin, the inspiration for "Swirling Nymphs", is one of these rare hybrids.
The cross, Paph. (philippinense x rothschildianum), was originally registered in 1901 and has been remade many times; each succeeding remake of higher quality than its predecessor.
Paph. Philippinense is widely distributed throughout the Philippines but uncommon anywhere else in its range, while Paph. rothschildianum, often called the King of Orchids, is found only in three sites on the lower slopes around Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. In at least one of these sites, it is now assuredly extinct.
The entire genus Paphiopedilum is considered critically endangered and international trade in these species is strictly controlled by CITES regulations.