Leaf of the Day: Fountain Clerodendron Pod

Coincidences are strange things. Yesterday our latest Netflix film arrived. Our selections are eclectic and the order things arrive in is completely random. So it was, that last night we sat down and watched a lyrical little film called Dreamland which is set in a remote trailer park in New Mexico, just where we will be tomorrow. .. well, we will be in Albuquerque and in a hotel not a trailer park this time but a lovely silver Airstream would have been just fine. The photography is beautiful and the desert and skies were stunning. I am so looking forward to seeing some big and open landscapes. I was not going to take the paints this time but I am reconsidering now,
especially as I have just had another look at Hockney’s Grand Canyon painting which was displayed many years ago in the RA in one room. You stood on a central raised platform to view the 60 canvasses which were arranged round the walls in wide screen cinemascope and glorious technicolour ….quite beautiful..

So a last quick sketch before packing. This is the pod of the beautiful Fountain clerodendron whose flowers I painted a while ago. I had read there were to be nice pods, but looking at the flowers these are quite a surprise. The seed inside is like a beautiful little grey green pearl set against the vibrant red sepals which have thickened out from the base and eventually turn back to expose the seed. It’s a lovely thing and deserves more time.

This is the flower I painted before here; you can see at the base where the seed pod will devel0p.

But now to packing.. what camera, what sketchbook, what paints..the usual dilemmas. I may be able to post as we go but possibly not for 10 days.. Hasta pronto amigos.


Fountain Clerodendron Pod

Leaf of the Day: Fountain Clerodendron and Dwarf Poinciana

It’s Thursday morning and I am having a break from the flower heads. I cycled into Winter Park village to look for any other flowers that might inspire me and got caught in the rain on the way back but I did get my glasses mended.
When I eventually started work it was the beautiful Clerodendron minahassae, the Fountain clerodendron. I had to spend quite some time trying to identify this tree as the label had gone missing at Leu. It is really pretty. These long tubular white blossoms spray out from the branches and the leaves are elegant and a lovely shape.

It seems there will be some interesting berries to come too, judging by what I have read. It was delightful to paint but white on white is hard in watercolour. I think they need to be set against the green leaves to show off their true beauty but the central curling red stamens are gorgeous.
The clerodenrons are a huge family with many pretty flowers and now I have seen a couple more shrubs at Leu.

Number 2 today was the Dwarf Ponciana floret which I had sketched last week. Again I had to get another flower head but luckily they are all quite similar, so I could work from the sketch too. The colours look dull here but are brighter in the original. (I am not sure that the computer does very well with yellow.) I am noticing more and more flowers with red stamens here. I wonder why.


Fountain Clerodendron and Dwarf Poinciana