Showy Primrose | Kiry Tiberius

Showy Primrose | Kiry Tiberius

48 x 30 in / 121.9 x 76.2 cm

The blossoms of the showy primrose (Oenothera speciosa) are about the size of a golf ball, roughly 1.5-2 inches (3.8-5.1 cm.) Here I have painted them much larger than life—more like the size of dinner plates. By enlarging them, I hoped to provide the viewer with the impact these bright and delicate flowers have when you lie down among them. The petals are soft and silky. They start out white in colour, and grow pinker as they mature.

Click for detail

Click for detail

From this close up perspective the viewer can appreciate details that are often missed. For example, in the left-hand corner of the painting, you can see big chunks of yellow pollen that have fallen from the stamens onto one of the center flowers and the bud. I imagine this is the perspective taken by Alice in Wonderland when she talked to the flowers.

These showy primrose flowers were growing wild by the side of a road in Ennis, Texas, but you can see them almost anywhere in the States since they are native to 28 of the lower 48 States. The grasses that are growing up between the flowers are a sure sign that these flowers were not in a garden, at least not one that is tended by a gardener. I kept all of the grasses in the composition just as they were by the roadside, except for one, which was growing in a particularly bad place for the composition. A photographer might have pulled it out. I just didn’t paint it in.

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