Monday, January 30, 2017

A Fantasy in White

A Fantasy in White (18" x 24" / 46cm x 61cm) is my latest painting. A little different from my usual subject matter!

tropic,tropical,rain forest,rainforest,tree ferns,bromeliads,rabbit foot's fern,white peacock,morpho butterfly,green,dark,misty,humid

Although I've never gone to any tropical areas, I'm familiar with the overall look as well as many plant species from my studies in ornamental horticulture many years ago.

The scene was inspired by a spot in the Los Angeles County Arboretum -- a "jungle" planting that includes a cluster of tree ferns that formed the basis of the painting.

L.A. Co. Arboretum,tree ferns,palm trees

I visited there in 2012, saw this view, and I knew I would have to paint something similar to it. In addition, the Arboretum has peacocks running around loose. No white ones that I've seen, just the usual (but stunningly beautiful) India blue peacocks. I've never seen a live white peacock, only a taxidermy specimen in an antique store.

Incidentally, peacocks can be white either because it's their coloring (their skin and eyes are pigmented), or they can be albinos, with pink skin and eyes. I painted a white, not an albino, critter.

The painting depicts a rain forest typical of the lowland tropics of Central and South America. Normally I work to keep my painted habitats "pure," but this piece has non-native (to Latin America) species in it: the Hawaiian tree ferns (Cibotium chamissoi), the rabbit foot's fern in the lower left (from Fiji) and, of course, the peacock.

I've included some details from the painting, some intentionally easy to miss if one views the original piece.

tree ferns,bromeliads,morpho butterfly,rabbit foot's fern,white peacock,tropics,tropical,rain forest,rainforest,fallen log,moss

It's hard to say if I'd ever again do another painting like much detail to paint!! Maybe next time, I would create a view where I (the painter) am standing further away from the scene rather than standing IN it!

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