18 x 15 in / 45.7 x 38.1 cm
One of my favourite things to do when I’m hiking, or in a garden, is to sit close enough to a flower so that the features of the flower become a landscape of colour and texture—a magical world unto itself. In this painting, I invite the viewer to see the purple columbine in such a way. I chose to use an unusually small panel to encourage intimacy between viewer and flower.
The purple columbine (Aquilegia coerulea) is a hardy little flower, despite its delicate appearance. It can live through cold temperatures, at high altitudes, and even wedged in the cracks of very rocky terrain as it is here. There are so are many species of columbine that it sometimes becomes difficult to determine the name of one particular plant. This flower gives itself away by its deep violet, almost indigo and white petals.
When my grandmother first saw this painting she told me a story about the columbine in her garden. The columbine is a perennial, so they should return every spring. But the little sprouts that popped up in the spring looked a lot like weeds to my grandfather, who pulled them out. So, perhaps it’s not surprising that my grandmother was especially excited about this painting. The painting now hangs in her bedroom, where she can see it every morning as she awakens, all through the year.