Thursday, September 13, 2012

Indian Paintbrush

I've been trying to cultivate some Indian Paintbrush in our front courtyard ever since we moved to this house, about 13 years ago.  They are  hemiparasitic, depending on host plants to supply water and nutrients, and will only grow near native grasses, in this case, near a patch of Buffalo and Blue Gramma planted for this sole purpose. Even fully grown plants lack a well-developed root system and will not grow successfully without a host plant.  The flowers are inconspicuous; it is the bright red bracts beneath each flower that catch your eye.   From the original plant that I was successful in growing, many more have come until the small area just outside my front door is ablaze with their fire most of the summer.
I this painting, I was intrigued by the sharp shadows the Paintbrush cast in the final moments of the setting sun.
9" x 12" oil on canvas board.


Mexican Gray Wolf of the Three Amigos Pack, currently incarcerated  at Wild Life West Nature Park in Edgewood, New Mexico.
12" x 12" oil on canvas on board. 


Lucky was adopted from a rescue group outside of Columbus as a companion to the owner's white cat. Sort of the yin/yang effect. He was as large as he was sweet. Long and lanky, but a smaller head for his size. (Personally, I think this occurs in male cats who have been neutered at a young age--no hormones to grow that "big" head!)  Might have been part Burmese or Siamese, as he was quite vocal.  He loved everyone, and acted more like a dog in a cat's body, greeting everyone who came to the door.  He loved to lay in his momma's lap and lick her face.  What a sweet heart!  His one flaw, if he had one, was that he loved to be outdoors, especially since his owner moved to  rural
New Mexico. Dangers lurk there, and apparently his luck ran out.  In his portrait, I tried to capture his soft eyes and gentle nature in a powerful body. Doesn't he look dapper in his red bandana!  Lucky, you sweet soul, if was a pleasure to meet you on canvas!