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Midnight Comet
Original Oil on Canvas, 18" x 12"
Hand Gold Leafed Frame
Outside Frame Dimension, 26" x 20"
American Orchid Society - Director of Education Note:
Angraecum sesquipedale, the inspiration for this piece, is endemic to the island of Madagascar. First discovered by the
French botanist Louis-Marie Aubert du Petit-Thouars in 1798 it was not formally described until 1822. This spectacular orchid
with its extremely long spur is noteworthy for its association with the naturalist Charles Darwin. The long spur, white flowers
and fragrance only during the late evening hours led Darwin to postulated that the flower was pollinated by a then
undiscovered moth with a proboscis whose length was then unprecedented. Not until 21 years after his death was this moth,
Xanthopan morganii forma praedicta discovered and his hypothesis vindicated. The story of its postulated pollinator has come
to be seen as one of the celebrated predictions of the theory of evolution.
Angraecum sesquipedale is a native of lowlands
below about 330 feet near the east coast of Madagascar. Here it is found near the edges of forests growing on trees where
there is a great deal of light and air movement, critical to successful culture. This habitat is characterized by rainfall often
exceeding 150 inches/year without a discernable dry season. Drying out of the habitat due to erratic rainfall patterns critically
impact the survival of this species.
Artist Notes:
"With deep reverence emphasizing form and essence, I have portrayed the 'comet orchid' (Angraecum Sesquipedale). My
desire is to encourage the experience of connections in nature and thus, in ourselves. Portraying the drama of orchids is for
me the experience of creating organic metaphors. My focus on the relationships between the macro and micro of nature
compels me to cross the boundaries between scale and space. I'd like nothing more than to have the viewer experience the
joy I feel when I become the flower I paint. There lies the bridge between human being and nature."
Patricia Laspino