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Botanical Art Worldwide ; America's Flora

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

Goodyera pubescens

I first discovered this delicate, yet striking, plant in a few patches right around my house, but I didn’t know anything about it. After a bit of research, though, I was very happy to find out how special it was. It felt like I uncovered a gift from nature to me.

Selected "Wildflower of the Year" in 2016 by the Virginia Native Plant Society, Goodyera pubescens (Downy Rattlesnake Plantain) is one of the relatively few orchid species native to northeastern North America. It’s delightful shape, texture, and color stirred my desire to paint it.  

It took me a while to decide the media and the technique. I wanted something special—something to help me emphasize the minute details of the white downy texture while adding adequate depth and three-dimensionality. So, I traveled to the tannery and hand-picked the vellum for this painting. I chose this skin based on the earthy tones that echo the plant's natural environment and used the watercolor dry-brush technique.

This piece represents my first work on vellum. I learned a lot in the process and discovered a great deal of pleasure working with this medium. I look forward to my future projects on vellum.


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

Worldwide-Negoita Rattlesnake plantain

Goodyera pubescens

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

Watercolor on vellum

13 x 9-1/2

©2017 Alexandra Negoita

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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