Leaf of the Day: Heliconia Episcopalis and the Aristolochia, again

Tuesday. Just when I need all my faculties to be at their best for some fine work the lens falls out of my good glasses…sods law. It’s not the end of the world as I have many pairs of cheap reading glasses but it’s just one of those things that you don’t need. However, onwards and upwards. I went down to Leu for some rather myopic flower searching and I have painted two flower heads, the Heliconia episcopalis and the almost cute aristolochia. (I made sure this one didn’t bring along quite so many flies.) This is my second attempt at the aristolochia and of course the frustrating thing is that some parts of this one are better than the previous one and some are worse, but as I am running out of time this has to be it.
I enjoyed the heliconia as I like strong simple structural shapes. It is a brilliant orange yellow, and mere paint just cannot imitate the strength or vibrancy of the colour. It shows the remains of the spent flower head and one new flower emerging from the bracts. It is called the “episcopalis” due to the shape resembling the episcopal mitre.
From Wiki here is another of these diagrams that I like so much… of the evolution of the mitre… something I have never turned my mind to before.

There is also a shell with the same name .. the little Episcopal Mitre shell

Image from Beachcomber shell site here

Shells are so beautiful and so paintable aren’t they? . I am hoping to find some interesting ones when we finally get down to the Keys. Here is a whole other branch of natural history painting which I will have to try. When, I wonder.

Heliconia Episcopalis and Aristolochia Fimbriata

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