Plant Portraits! (Weeds to Wildflowers)

Updated: Apr 6

Since May of last year (2021) I have been painting some of the most common Florida native plant butterfly hosts with the Miami nonprofit, Bound by Beauty. As of May I've painted 12 out of 17 species set as the goal for this project! These species are culturally known as weeds. They appear in lawns, tenaciously sprouting from sidewalks or in manicured exotic landscaping seemingly from nowhere. This also means that they are the most accessible of our native species, available to almost everyone regardless of age or economic status. Not only that, but the chosen species also host butterflies, showing that there is magic even in the weeds you step over daily. The goal of this project is to increase understanding and appreciation of these native species, make native plants accessible to a wider audience, and encourage homeowners, HOAs and those with power over public spaces to include these plants in landscaping. These illustrations are being used to create field guides and educational material to assist learning. The first field guild is available now as a free download on BbB's website! See the Field Guild to Wild Plants here.

The project was first dreamed by artist and founder of BbB, Mary Benton. She writes:

"If people could be made to see the beauty of the flower that provides sweet nectar to bees and small butterflies, or the serrated leaves that the caterpillars of the Dainty Sulphur butterflies find so tasty, if they could marvel at how nature ensures this plant's survival with its hooked seeds that hitch a ride on every passerby, then Bidens alba, or Spanish needle, would no longer be viewed as a weed to eradicate with a chemical that poisons our world."

All the illustrations I've currently made can be found below. They include Fogfruit, Cheesy Toes, Biden's Alba, Water Hyssop, Wireweed and Corky Stem Passionvine, Florida Pellitory, Spurred Butterfly Pea, Virginia Pepperweed, Common Blue Violet, Hairy Cowpea and Purple Thistle! I'm super excited to be learning about and painting these beautiful species that are so often overlooked, and honored to be partnering with BbB to bring the project to life!

Prints for sale

Limited edition giclée prints are available here. They are printed on watercolor paper with a hand-torn deckled edge. Since they are a little labor intensive to produce, they will be a very small edition of 25. A portion of proceeds goes to support BbB. I'm so grateful for all your support! The originals will be available when all 17 have been completed (around June)

I think deckled edges look great so I've been tearing my watercolor paper to give my original paintings that look for over a year now. The paper looks good when "float" framed, or framed above the mat so the edges show. I feel like it features the delicacy of the paper in a beautiful way. I love that I can create that edge on prints now! (So far the only prints I offer with deckled edges are the plant portraits, but I may continue to offer editions of other art in the future. let me know what you think!)

Originals for sale

The first 12 original paintings from this series are being shown at the Brockway Memorial Library from April 7th to April 23rd! The reception will be on April 7th from 6-7:30 pm. Space is limited so call the number on the flyer to reserve your space. I will be talking about my art and selling prints. Refreshments and information on safer ways to control pests in your garden will be provided by Chad Everett Moreschi of Natural Resources Pest Control. Thank you to the Miami Shores Community Alliance for their support for this project and to Brockway Memorial Library for hosting.

The original framed artwork is being sold through my webs shop, here!

They have been professionally "float" framed by a local framer in a beautiful dark wood frame, with archival materials and UV protecting museum glass.

Thank you for your support!

See all the paintings I've completed so far, below:

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