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Botanical Art Worldwide: America's Flora

Oakleaf Hydrangea 

Hydrangea quercifolia 

Designated the official wildflower of Alabama.

The American naturalist, William Bartram, identified and named the Hydrangea quercifolia in his Travels Through North & South Carolina, c. 1756 - 1758. My specimen of the oakleaf hydrangea, as it is commonly known, grows in a ‘colony’ at the entrance of The Native Plant Garden at the New York Botanical Garden.

My challenge in painting the oakleaf hydrangea was to create a pleasing composition out of a tangle of panicles and leaves growing willy-nilly out of five to seven shrubs. But, after some preliminary sketches, and with many photographs and multiple trips to the garden, I painted a composition of two panicles with a cluster of dark leaves.

Working on gessoed paper allowed me to first paint a pale warm tint in oil on the paper to set off the creamy white flowers and leaves painted in multiple oil glazes on top.

Over the years I have painted four panicle hydrangeas (not native to the US) and two oakleaf hydrangeas, so you see, they are a favorite flower of mine.


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Read more about this artist’s work: Out of the Woods

Finnan - Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia

Oakleaf Hydrangea

oil on paper

15 x 12

©2017 Ingrid Finnan

2024 ASBA - All rights reserved

All artwork copyrighted by the artist. Copying, saving, reposting, or republishing of artwork prohibited without express permission of the artist.

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