STORY BEHIND THE ART OF  Nancy Rainville

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

Lenten Rose

Helleborus cv.
 

I enjoy taking walks about my gardens or down the long gravel road that winds through the woods.  I am amazed and inspired by delicate or interesting shapes, soft petals, and the beautiful colors of nature.  Whether it’s something I’ve planted or those lovely wild things, there is always something that pulls me to it.

 

I have had Lenten roses in past gardens when I lived in Minneapolis.  This particular Lenten rose was planted several years ago in a protected area on the north side of my home in northwest Wisconsin.  I am amazed it has survived the harsh winters here and is such a thrill to watch over the months as it changes and grows.  How delicate, yet strong, a plant it is to survive the seasons in this area.  I watched and waited for a couple of years in anticipation for it to bloom.  Finally, new shoots began emerging as usual, but then others came, too, which developed buds, then flowers.  I thought the colors of the buds, flowers, and new leaves were so rich and beautiful.  Some of the old leaves stay through the winter under the snow and are rather bruised and discolored from the toughness of the winter.  I painted them, too, as I thought the contrast of new and old stems and leaves made it even more charming.  I think it is a fascinating plant as it changes over the course of the year; the leaves grow bigger and darker, the flowers turn from dark buds to dark, then lighter pinks, mauves, purples, then dark green and, finally, to pale green before falling off over a period of months, early spring to fall.  All these changes were visible daily, so it was challenging to keep up with the plant, as I am a slow painter!

 

I like to paint and draw delicate features and the list of subjects is endless and changes with each season.  When I see nature’s wonders I feel awed by the flower with its lovely, perfect petals, its ethereal fragrance, and beautiful colors.  I strive to portray the beauty I see in nature and hope you will see the beauty all around you, too.  

 
 
 
 
  • © 2017 Nancy Rainville
    Lenten Rose
    Helleborus cv.
    Watercolor on paper
    10" x 12"