Picture Profile: 1404 Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) or Kingcup

Picture Profile

1404 Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) or Kingcup

Artist Code: 1404. Completed April 2014. Original Watercolour on Aquarelle Arches 100% Hot Pressed cotton rag paper. Unframed size 12” x 16”.

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This plant was used in church festivals in the Middle Ages, and on May Day festivals it was strewn at cottage doors and also made into garlands. Marsh Marigold, although a strong irritant, has many medicinal uses, including curing warts, preventing various kinds of fits, both in children and adults, and may be beneficial in cases of anaemia. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach. I messed up my first attempt at this painting and had to start again. It took 3 hours to re-trace the drawing onto good paper! I used a water colour pencil (different colours for different elements) on the back of the tracing so that the tracing would be very feint. However, upon pressing this onto the good paper I discovered the colour I had used for the stalks did not come out! So I drew these in by hand with a paintbrush – my favourite way to draw. It looked a bit messy, but was easily covered during painting. I added a seed head (not in the original sketch) because I took so long to paint the picture, a few developed, so were worth adding. This painting may be included as a botanical plate in a book I am co-authoring with Dr S.M. Haslam.