Leaves turn into Flowers

I was at Kanapaha Botanical Garden and found this little branch. It is a bamboo flower. Bamboo is actually and evergreen plant, and a member of the family Poaceae and is a true grass. I didn't know that bamboo flowered so this was a pleasant surprise. Bamboo does not flower often so this was a rare treat. As I was observing it, it became very clear that the petals or sepals of the flower were just leaves in a slightly different shape and color. They grow in a cluster and are arranged in a whorl. Each petal has a mid rib, just like the leaves. It is easy to see the evolution of the flower by looking at this primitive plant.

I painted this in watercolor and started from the background and worked towards the foreground. I made the leaves in the background lighter with less detail and  contrast so that they would appear further away. This technique is called an atmospheric fade and I like to use it whenever I can. It creates layers for the viewer to see, If all the parts of the plant are in sharp detail it would actually flatten the painting. The atmospheric fade adds an ethereal quality to the painting. It was nice to break away from the standard leaf and do something that had multiple planes.

This painting is available in my Etsy Shop: BugsBeastsBotanicals