STORY BEHIND THE ART OF Joan McGann

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

Coyote gourd

Cucurbita digitata
 

The coyote gourd, cucurbita digitata, has been growing behind our offices in Tucson for many years. It is a vine that doesn’t climb but spreads along the ground for 20 to 30 feet, branching in all directions. I was drawn to it because there were so many phases of growth that could be seen at once. The flowers were slowly developing along the length of the vine and the gourds were enlarging and deepening in color. When the gourds are mature and detached they are ochre in color. The “five-fingered” leaves are a deep shiny green with simple light veining. It is also nice to see a native ground cover of green in the desert for a short time.

 

I drew the ground plane in graphite to indentify the plants growth along the ground. I included coyote and javelina prints in graphite, as well, because the coyote will attempt to get through the gourd to the protein and fat-rich seeds, while the javelina will dig up the roots to eat.  I have included the surrounding ground elements in other drawings and I find it informative and pleasing to the composition. 

 
 
 
Read more about this artist’s work: 17th Annual International
  • © 2016 Joan McGann
    Coyote gourd
    Cucurbita digitata
    Colored pencil and graphite on board
    14" x 24"