Friday, May 24, 2013
Tribute to Matilija Poppies
I had intended to write about Memorial Day today but the tributes to veterans on the tv yesterday were so outstanding, so far exceeding my ability to express gratitude, that I decided to write about something closer at hand that gives me great reverance. Missing the big bank of "fried egg plants" which they are also known as, one of the first things I ordered at a local nursery here was a matilija poppy. It came over a month ago, and though its still alive, its looking resentful of transplanting, and has barely grown. This is a trait they are well known for, I've learned. A start from my bank in Oakland looked promising, but soon bit the dust. Yet a single plant on the bank there had spread to cover about eight feet, some of them seven feet high, and it was for me a daily summer ritual to gasp at the huge crepe like white flowers waving in the wind, framing the bay view: a joy to photograph and a joy to paint. Two paintings of these California native poppies were added somewhat reluctantly to my art bin for Open Studios last weekend. Reluctantly, because I didn't really want to part with them. I had painted them recently from photographs and from my imagination. Well, of course one sold the first day. Tut tut. I'm determined to paint more.