Picture Profile: 0902 Red Gladioli

0902 Red Gladioli

0902 Red Gladioli

Botanical Illustration. Artist Code: 0902. Completed July 2009. Original donated. Water colour and gum arabic on Aquarelle Arches 100% hot pressed cotton rag paper. Unframed size 9″ x 12″. Framed size 12” x 15”

Original donated to a fundraiser for CAMSight.

 

Gladioli, var. unknown, Gladiolus, also known as the Sword lily.

A friend had searched high and low for a birthday card with a picture of a red gladioli on the front, for her best friend’s 60th birthday. She asked if I could paint a picture of one for her, then scan and print it onto a card. I discovered that gladioli do not bloom until late July/August and as the card was needed by mid-July it was very difficult to get live specimens.

I remembered when I was a little girl that my mother always had gladioli, either in the garden or in a vase in the house, but I had not reflected on their beauty for some years. My neighbour (the one with the orchids and lilies) offered me his encyclopaedia of flowers which contained a lot of small photographs of various specimens. I searched the internet for close-ups and studied them on the screen. This is my first ever floral painting in which I have not used a live specimen. But my friend (and her friend) were ‘over the moon’ with the result.

Poem:

SWORD LILY
A traditional bloom to mark the day
of 40 married years they say
With gladiator strength of mind
A couple with their lives combined
By power forged with steel of blade
Contented love of life is made