Monday, August 08, 2011

Weeds or Wildflowers?

My main subjects are the three Queen Anne's Lace blooms which I masked prior to painting with Pebeo drawing gum. I've yet to ID the little flowers also masked in the lower right corner. The two objects that look like large Q-tips are some field grasses I added to the bouquet for a vertical element. I want to keep the background loose and juicy to contrast with the tighter style of the main subjects.

It's the August blooming lull in my gardens so I went 'weed' picking. The weeds are blooming just fine through all the dry days and overly hot temps we've been experiencing this year while their more gentrified and hybridized cousins (that have received special treatment all summer long, I might add) are done for the season. What I came home with was a lovely bouquet more than suitable for a painting.

Even though everything I picked was very familiar to me by sight I did not know the proper names of most so I did an online search..'native weeds of Michigan', then 'native wildflowers of Michigan'. The same plants came up in both searches which begs the question...what distinguishes a weed from a wildflower?

I recall a quote I read somewhere in the past that stated, "A weed is a plant out of place." I discovered this quote didn't come from a gardener but from the lead character in a book by Jim Thompson titled, 'The Killer Inside Me'. The lead character is Lou Ford, a laid back, rather slow small town sheriff in Texas who is also a psychotic killer in his off hours. Haven't read the book but I did see the movie and it was chilling...but I digress.

On a happier note I also discovered a book written by Aliki, (author of 50 children's books) titled, 'A Weed is a Flower, The Life of George Washington Carver'.

Conclusion: Whether a plant is a weed or a flower lies in it's nature and in the eyes and mind of the beholder.


adi said...

Thank you !
This is wonderful !

Billie Crain said...

Thank you, Adi and welcome to my blog.:)