Coneflowers (Echinacea)

If I had to choose just one ‘cultivated’ plant for a garden then it might well be Echinacea. Coloured pencil – 23 x 30cm

£150.00 £50.00

If I had to choose just one ‘cultivated’ plant for a garden then it might well be Echinacea. I think the attraction is partly that they look as if they are wilting even when the flowers are quite new. Even the dying flowers have a peculiar delicacy and beauty.

Echinacea is a native of the North American plains and, though modern science is less than enthusiastic about its perceived benefits, it seems to have been used as something of a panacea by a number of native American tribes. Incidentally, the list of ‘ineffective’ cancer treatments is a long one. No doubt devotees of one cure or another would disagree. Science is still playing catch-up with folk medicine.

They say that if you don’t complete a painting soon enough after starting it then it should be abandoned. I started this piece some time ago, but got a bit bored with it and let it sit unfinished for a while. I’m happy I didn’t leave it!

I have said elsewhere that as much as I admire botanic art, I do not have the patience for it. My flower paintings need to be partly impressionistic. But I think I will paint echinacea again in acrylics on gesso board: they will be even more luminous.

You may also like this California Tree Poppy, these Nasturtiums after the rain – or perhaps this white begonia.