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When I was taking a walk the other day, I came upon a lovely site which I had never before seen even though I have hiked there more times than I can count over the past several years. Luckily I had my camera on me. ;D There was a humongous dark purple flower, which resembled a passionflower in full bloom. I could not believe my eyes. It was gorgeous! The light wasn’t the best, because it was the middle of the day, but I snapped some photos anyway.
I was so excited that I went back later towards evening when the light was better to get more pictures. Lighting really made a difference. (I’ve posted both sets so you can see why it is best to take photos in the morning or the evening.) During the middle of the day the light comes down at a 90 degree angle, or close to it, causing photos to look flat and uninteresting.
Notice in photos 8, 9, and 10 how the light draws the attention to the flower rather than the background. I also makes the flower more rounded and 3 dimensional.
It’s a mystery to me what kind of flower this is, although I assume it is some sort of native species. It grew in almost full shade and the flower was about 6 inches or more tall. While I was out taking the second set of pictures, I bumped into the man who owns the adjacent property . He did not know what it is either, but said he used to have a bunch of them behind his garage–but pulled them out because they stink really bad. I could not smell anything and am thinking I wouldn’t mind having some in my yard a good distance from the house (just in case they DO smell LOL). Perhaps it is a relative of the skunk cabbage? I’m not sure because they grow in more marshy areas and you almost always smell those long before you see them. These were on a hill high and dry.
Whatever they are, apparently the reason I had never seen one despite the frequency of my walks down this particular trail is because it does not bloom very long. Less than 2 days after I took these pictures the bloom had died. Within a week the entire plant died back and the spot is now covered in morning glory instead. I’m glad I happened to take a walk down that way when my mystery flower was blossoming.
Several days later I went to my friend’s house for an art day again. My friend worked on some miniature sculptures, and I decided to paint a picture of my Oregon “passion flower” from memory. Working entirely from memory is one of the exercises suggested in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. For those who would like to learn to draw or increase their drawing skills, I would highly recommend getting a copy.
Entitled “Oregon ‘Passionflower’ Memory.” my painting is watercolor on paper 11×15.” skipping a pencil sketch, I started painting a translucent minty green glaze around the flower. I had intended to paint in the dark green foliage behind the flower as well, but liked the transparent glaze so well that I left it that way in the end. Next I painted in the fuchsia of the flower, leaving some lighter areas and adding some yellow highlights. Then I used purple for the stamen and the shading. As a finishing touch I painted the stem a minty green with fuchsia and purple shadows, repeating those colors with a light glaze in the corners.
thanks to Heidi GardenDelightsArts at zazzle, I now know this is a Voodoo lily, dragon lily, or Stink lily (got to love that last name 🙂
Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography