"Compass Plant, Fall" Watercolor on Offer

   On offer, this  large watercolor  of the compass plant in fall is beautifully and professionally framed and ready to hang. I found the specimen on a walk in the fall right at the northern edge of Illinois, on a prairie. The leaves were so dried and stiff in the fall, yet so lyrical that I had to paint them. It took me days but it was worth it. The painting is 29" X 30" framed.  The painting is in a burnt red and antique gold frame. The double mats are lovely fall sage colors. The watercolor paper is archival and under glass. The painting is signed.   Additional background about the compass plant:    The common name compass plant was inspired by the "compass orientation"of its leaves. The large leaves are held vertically with the tips pointing north or south and the upper and lower surfaces of the blades facing east or west. A newly emerging leaf grows in a random direction, but within two or three weeks it twists on its petiole clockwise or counterclockwise into a vertical position.   Studies indicate that the sun's position in the early morning hours influences the twisting orientation. This orientation reduces the amount of solar radiation hitting the leaf surface. Vertical leaves facing east-west have higher water use efficiency than horizontal or north-south-facing blades.   Early settlers on the great plains could make their way in the dark by feeling the leaves.   

 

On offer, this large watercolor of the compass plant in fall is beautifully and professionally framed and ready to hang. I found the specimen on a walk in the fall right at the northern edge of Illinois, on a prairie. The leaves were so dried and stiff in the fall, yet so lyrical that I had to paint them. It took me days but it was worth it. The painting is 29" X 30" framed.

The painting is in a burnt red and antique gold frame. The double mats are lovely fall sage colors. The watercolor paper is archival and under glass. The painting is signed.

Additional background about the compass plant: 

The common name compass plant was inspired by the "compass orientation"of its leaves. The large leaves are held vertically with the tips pointing north or south and the upper and lower surfaces of the blades facing east or west. A newly emerging leaf grows in a random direction, but within two or three weeks it twists on its petiole clockwise or counterclockwise into a vertical position. 

Studies indicate that the sun's position in the early morning hours influences the twisting orientation. This orientation reduces the amount of solar radiation hitting the leaf surface. Vertical leaves facing east-west have higher water use efficiency than horizontal or north-south-facing blades. 

Early settlers on the great plains could make their way in the dark by feeling the leaves.

 

Dreaming Beyond Cancer

Watercolor by Catherine Twomey
Dreaming Ocean

I had to get out the paints this morning to get down a dream vision. What a contrast my dreams have been lately to those before September 18, when kidney cancer was still a part of my husband's body. From dark and unsettling to calm, beautiful, light and well, dreamy - I much prefer the most recent dreams.

This is a watercolor on Arches watercolor paper. The swelling wave behind the breaking one brings an anticipatory tension to the seascape. It's difficult to describe the sense of relief we carry today, and how previously "critical" problems have been minimized.


Yosemite Merced River Wild

Watercolor by Catherine Twomey • All Rights Reserved
Yosemite Merced River Wild
Plein air watercolor painting of the Merced River in Yosemite by Catherine Twomey, 2011. Sat almost too closely on the banks to paint this. The river's pounding torrent was deafening. The hiking path had actually been washed out. 

This was the year of overflow snow and subsequent water in Yosemite, when over 14 people lost their lives trying to cross the river and falls like this one. Bear was in the air.