Botanical Illustration. Artist Codes: 1009-1013 SOLD. Completed between February and March 2010. Original water colours on Aquarelle Arches 100% hot pressed cotton rag paper. Unframed size 12″ x 16″.
I received the commission to paint five plants to feature in new ID signs at Marwell Wildlife’s Tropical World in November 2009. I visited the zoo to meet the commissioners and to view the plants in situ. I took resource photographs and received live material of the plants. I had to submit preliminary drawings for approval and all were accepted with only one minor alteration.
Marwell Wildlife seeks to address causes of extinction such as habitat loss and the over-exploitation of biological resources and to manage vulnerable populations of threatened species to ensure their survival. This is achieved through a range of species and habitat conservation programmes locally through Marwell’s base in southern England and internationally, with a particular focus in Africa.
Artist Code 1013: Vanilla Orchid (Vanilla planifolia variegata). Genera: Orchidaceae Origin: Mexico.
The only ‘economic’ orchid, vanilla, produces greenish-yellow flowers which have to be hand pollinated in cultivation. The seed-pods take six months to mature and another month to process by fermentation in order to produce vanillin. No wonder pure vanilla extract is so expensive!