Plant Portraits! (Weeds to Wildflowers)
Updated: Mar 16
In May of 2021 I began painting some of the most common Florida native plant butterfly hosts with the Miami nonprofit, Bound by Beauty, for a total of 17 illustrations! 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. 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 stop indiscriminate pesticide use and 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 were completed in October 2022. They include Fogfruit, Cheesy Toes, Biden's Alba, Water Hyssop, Wireweed, Corky Stem Passionvine, Florida Pellitory, Spurred Butterfly Pea, Virginia Pepperweed, Common Blue Violet, Hairy Cowpea, Purple Thistle, This Paspalum, St. Augustine Grass, Downy Milkpea, Sensitive Partridge pea and finally, Sicklepod. I'm super grateful to have partnered 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 are each a very small edition of 25 or less. A portion of proceeds goes to support BbB.
The deckled edges of the paper looks good when "float" framed, or framed above the mat so the edges show. It helps to accentuate the delicacy of the paper in a way that matting doesnt.
Originals for sale
All 17 illustrations will be for sale during Portrait of a Pollinator at Flamingo Gardens from March 4th through May 7th, 2023. They can be purchased either in person at the garden, or online through my website here. They are all 15% off for the duration of the show.
See all 17 illustrations below (click to expand):