Tuesday, October 27, 2015

On Offer: "Compass Plant, Fall" Twomey Watercolor

Large watercolor by Catherine Twomey
"Compass Plant, Fall" , watercolor by C. Twomey

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 framed size is W18" X H29.5".

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.