The Pinocchio Orchid

by Mindy on January 20, 2012

in 52/52 Challenge, Botanical Art, Gouache, Graphite, Orchids

Painting #3/Week #3 52/52 Painting Challenge 2012

I was visiting a friend in Naples Florida and she had a wonderful collection of orchids. They seemed to be just dripping off the trees and off the side of her house. I was in the midst of such a beautiful range of shapes and colors. It was difficult to decide what to paint. I walked around her property and found a delightful little orchid called the "Pinocchio Orchid". It is in the Lady-Slipper family. Almost 60 species and hundreds of hybrids make up the genus Paphiopedilum, often called the lady-slipper orchid. The Pinocchio slipper orchid is a primary hybrid cross between Paphiopedilum primulinum and Paphiopedilum glaucophyllum.

The reason it is called the Pinocchio Orchid is the stem keeps getting longer and longer and it continues to bloom, one bloom at a time for months.  It was towards the end of its blooming stage, but from my painting you can see how many bracts there were on the stem. Each bract had a ladyslipper flower. It had one large bloom and then 2 more buds that had not yet opened.

My friend was gracious enough to cut the orchid and stem so that I could take it home and complete my painting. Orchids here in Florida are very easy to come by and very affordable. I am in HEAVEN!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Ashton January 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Hi Mindy
This is such a lovely Orchid painting!  I cannot believe how fast you are able to create these masterpieces!  I just started the SBA distance diploma course and I'm looking forward to getting more practice and becoming quicker.
I would love to paint an orchid sometime…. you MUST be in heaven with all the selection in Florida. As the snow is falling here, I am waiting with baited breath for my potted Amaryllis to bloom :)

Jacqui Pemberton January 21, 2012 at 1:42 am

I love love love it Mindy! You are such an inspiration.  I especially love the composition, the way the orchid leaps into the frame from the right, and says 'Look at me!" – Just gorgeous and thank you so much for sharing x I look forward to next week :))

Sketchbook squirrel January 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

This one really is a stunner! I agree with Laura, you work so quickly, it takes me ages to get going. All down to confidence I think. You have certainly given me food for thought for my SBA Diploma Portfolio, Orchid anyone? :) 

Mindy January 21, 2012 at 10:57 am

Thanks Laura and Jarnie! I try not to work too fast or spend too much time on a piece. It is important to keep a balance between going so fast that things look sloppy and taking so long that things get over worked.

Mindy January 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

Thanks Jacqui,
I try to paint in standard sizes so that I only have a few frames sizes in stock. This can be a challenge with compositions. I actually work on tracing paper and compose my painting to the size it will be matted to. This way I have no surprises when it is finally framed. sometimes the painting takes longer to compose than it does to paint!

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