|Original Oil on Canvas, 31" x 25"
American Orchid Society - Director of Education Note:
The first Phalaenopsis species, described at the time as a “showy” Epidendrum, E. amabilis, was described in 1753 by the Swedish
botanist Linnaeus. Linnaeus could not have imagined a time when millions of Phalaenopsis plants would be grown annually for the
general public. Phalaenopsis amabilis and other closely-related white and pink-flowered species form the genetic basis of the plant that
inspired this work. Little is known of the pollination biology of these orchids, however it is known that Phalaenopsis amabilis is
pollinated by large carpenter bees. Once widely distributed from southern Japan through China and southward throughout the
Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, southern India, and Nepal, many Phalaenopsis species now face great survival stress due to habitat
destruction. For instance in Malaysia, the habitat of Phalaenopis violacea, one of a handful of fragrant Phalaenopsis species, has
disappeared from urban sprawl.
My botanical and artistic studies of orchids not only have increased my passion for flowers, but also have given me a new respect for
the evolution of the species. By adaptation to the environment from which they arise, orchids have modified their appearance to imitate
insects (bees, wasps, butterflies), animals (donkeys, swans, ducks) and even man (gnomes, elves, dancing ladies) to get what they
need to survive. In this painting, I explore the paradox of linking monumental strength and viability to something so apparently delicate
and temporal as the flower."
|THE ORCHID ALLIANCE PROJECT