Sunday, November 7, 2010
I photographed the Milkweed yesterday - but when I tried to paint from the photos I missed the richness of colour, and the subject got mixed with the background. So there is nothing for it but to get out there and paint, with rain clotting the silky fluff and dripping from the tip of one of the pods. Wetness also brings out the strong black silhouettes of the Milkweed stems. It looks like they're wearing black stockings. The upper surfaces of the pods are also blackish where they've gotten wet so often this autumn. I think it may be a mildew type fungus like the blackish stain that grows on old grey barn boards. It makes a striking contrast with the glowing tawny gold inside the pods.
To the right of the Milkweed in my painting the fuzzy white heads of Geum are dripping their fluff with the weight of the rain.
Blue Jays are giving their "rain" call, and a woodpecker makes a coarser "eck". The ever present Chickadees peep as they forage in the wild Apple trees and Dogwood bushes. Marigold the dog pricks her ears at a sudden distant Coyote-like yammering and would like to join the hunt. We heard gun shots earlier. I guess it's deer hunting season.
Chad Clifford has posted a youtube video of rope-making from Milkweed stems.
Here is a photo that Fred took of me painting Milkweed in the rain.