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Botanical Art Worldwide: America's Flora

Ice Breaker

Symplocarpus foetidus

Within a three-mile radius of my home in the Connecticut countryside there is a great variety of habitats for me to enjoy on my daily walks: farm fields, rich woodlands, wetlands, and more. I place plant markers or ribbons on my favorite native plants in order to witness their entire life cycle.

The plant ultimately selected to paint is the one that has evoked my passionate response to its abstract qualities: line, shape, space, pattern and texture. Skunk cabbage spathes breaking through the frozen, wet ground are the first sights of intense color after a long, drab winter and are heralds of spring, my favorite season.

The round paper format, instead of the traditional rectangle, imparts a contemporary twist to the painting, but it also presents some compositional challenges such as organizing the elements on the plate for balance, rhythm and harmony. My watercolor painting technique is a layering process to build and blend rich colors. Sun passing through the unfurling skunk cabbage leaves reminds me of stained glass; and I painted all the individual tiny areas between the veins as though they were facets of colored glass, all fitted together to describe the whole.


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Symplocarpus foetidus

Ice Breaker

Watercolor on Paper

18" Round Float

©2016 Kathie Miranda

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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