Painting #12/Week #12 -Bodacious Cattleya

"Bodacious Cattleya "20" x 24" Watercolor ©2012 MLighthipe

I just finished this painting of another Cattleya. I just can't seem to get enough of them. The colors are so bright and bold. The blooms were so big on this plant that I had to go to a full sheet of watercolor. They were almost the size of a cake plate! I have just started to build a little back yard green house for my growing orchid collection.

One of the wonderful things that I just found out is that Marion Sheehan was a botanical artist and lived here in Gainesville Florida. Her husband, is Thomas Sheehan and he is retired from the University of Florida where he taught Botany and Orchid culture. Together this married couple wrote and illustrated many publications about orchids. Marion has passed away so I did not have the honor of meeting her in person. Her husband and daughter regularly attend the Gainesville Orchid Society meetings.  I recently met them and they are a wealth of knowledge about growing orchids and orchid morphology. Marion's paintings were "true" scientific botanical illustrations. Her paintings were not just the habit, (the whole plant) but also the dissected parts of the flower. She had a wonderful eye for composition. If you are interested in reading about Marion and Thomas Sheehan check out the book by Timber Press entitled,"An Illustrated Survey of Orchid Genera".

This week I am headed up to New Jersey to teach a class in Botanical Illustration and then heading out to take a class on painting on vellum. I will keep you posted and updated!