Royal ladies slipper orchids, by Alison C. Dibble, is a large, original oil paintings that puts the viewer right in the forest, but without the pesky insects.
In late June, in Maine, I hiked about 1.5 miles into a cedar swamp, partly bushwhacking through wet forest, to see these spectacular tall wild orchids in flower. I was with several good friends plus a cloud of determined mosquitoes. I sat on the moss among the orchids for a while, sketching them in their habitat. The flowers seemed to light up the forest from below. The sun slanted through the cedars.
Later, in my studio I designed a grisaille (underpainting) in raw sienna, then added color, texture and details to bring the scene from a monotone to full color. Though I sought to convey a sense of mystery and remoteness, the orchids in this painting seem to be communicating with each other in a collegial manner.
[Item number 4611]
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