STORY BEHIND THE ART OF Joan Keesey

 
20th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists & The Horticultural Society of New York
 
 

Dancing Ladies

Odontoglossum cv. x Oncidium cv.
 

My primary interest is in painting California native plants. However, wildflowers bloom during a very short window of time—an abundance of riches, but never enough time to paint them all. So during the winter months I look for other interesting plants. Orchids have always fascinated me. The variety of shapes, sizes, and colors seems infinite, and they offer certain advantages over wildflowers: they don’t wilt in an hour; the flowers have more structure and are easier to see and analyze; and they are available year round

 

 I chose this particular orchid, Odontoglossum/Oncidium, because I thought it had an unusual flower, and I liked the magenta color. The little flowers remind me of  “Dancing Ladies” with full magenta taffeta skirts and striped puffy sleeves, stepping down a staircase into a ballroom.  I also liked the pseudo-bulb and the way the leaves wrap around it and each other.

 

Magenta is one of my favorite pigments because for me it seems easier to obtain a saturated color.  In this picture I used Windsor Newton’s quinacridone magenta and permanent magenta. I particularly like the highlights on the leaves and the paler flowers in the background behind the primary “Dancing Ladies”. 

 
 
 
Read more about this artist’s work: 18th Annual International
  • © 2014 Joan Keesey
    Dancing Ladies
    Odontoglossum cv. x Oncidium cv.
    Watercolor on paper
    15" x 11"