Monday, November 14, 2011

Magnolia macrophylla

I took a workshop this weekend with Lara Call Gastinger and painted this Magnolia macrophylla leaf. I've discovered a bit of a passion for botanical art but I did sketch this in my book first. This magnolia is huge. Some of its leaves are about 3 feet long and the blossoms are gigantic. This tree in in the Wilderness Walk at Historic Kenmore Plantation in Fredericksburg, VA (where I work). The tree is surrounded by other huge specimens and has to fight for sunlight. As a result the blossoms are often near the top of the tree and all we can see are the undersides. Last year, one bloomed low enough to see and it knocked me out. The common name for the is the Umbrella Tree and for good reason. It almost seems bizarre. I used watercolor on Fabriano Hot Press paper. The leaf and painting of it are about 16 inches long (tall). I painted it horizontally but when someone turned it during the critique, we all decided it was better this way.

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