Sunday, March 21, 2010

Showy Lady Slipper painting Queen of the Fen

showy lady's slipper cypripedium reginae painting
Queen of the Fen is an apt description of Cypripedium Reginae. In most of it's range it's under sever pressure or even extinct.

However here in Ontario thanks to the far sightedness of the Purden family there is a huge colony of these beautiful orchids in the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority near the village of Lanark, about an hour east of Ottawa. We saw these beauties on a Canada Day (July 1st) weekend a few years back. All I can say is WOW!

Part of the problem is that like all wetlands the importance of Fens has been misunderstood until recently. A Fen is fed by a moving water source ie: a spring or stream, and is therefore less acidic than a Bog which is fed by rain and is a 'closed' system. Every time 'they' dredge a stream... a popular thing to do around here... a potential/former Fen is destroyed.

This past week (busy busy busy) we went on a 'gallery crawl'. Most of the shows were great, but the one that most stands out in my mind is the Cambridge Galleries Fiber Art show. It was totally amazing, and made me glad the warmer weather is around the corner, so that I can make some more paper (room and mess issues=outdoor activity).

On of the best reasons to crawl galleries is the inspiration that you/I get by looking a wonderful art.

Speaking of wonderful art, at the last STEAG meeting Candy Mcmaniman gave a presentation on how she achieves some of her effects, I've always loved Candy's art, and my art has probably subconsciously been influenced by contact with her, although I was already on this road before we became friends. Candy, Catherine Roxanne Jervis and I, and several others will be at St Paul's Cloister Art again this summer. Come check us out in July and August, and if you're near Ottawa between mid June and mid July, go and pay homage to the Queen of the Fen.

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