Paint the Flowers First!

52/52 Painting Challenge- Painting # 9

Dendrobium lindleyi (aggregatum)

Original Watercolor by Mindy Lighthipe ©2012

Dendrobium Aggregatum is also known as Dendrobium lindleyi. It is the first specie orchid I have painted. All the orchids I have painted before have all been hybrids. I have been attending the Gainesville Orchid Society meetings and have been learning a lot about them. Although I am not a big fan of the color yellow I loved the pseudo bulbs and the shape of the flowers. They look sort of like pansies and the color reminds me of daffodils. It is about this time that the daffodils start to bloom in New Jersey and this is the first time I am not living in New Jersey to see them. This orchid blooms in the spring and has very fragile yellow  flowers which smell like honey. Most of the orchids I have painted last about 2-4 weeks. I bought this plant with 2 spray of buds on it and within 2 days the flowers were open. I thought it would slowly open up and I would be able to capture the buds as well as the flowers in my painting. Overnight the flowers opened. What do you do when this happens?????? I dropped the painting I was working on which was another Flying Fox Bat and immediately started to draw the flowers. I quickly got the composition done, transferred the drawing, redrew it and painted the flowers FIRST! The foliage, pseudo bulbs and roots will be there after the flowers are gone. This is how I normally do my painting. If the flowers die before I get a chance to paint them I usually wait until the following year to paint. It seems like a long time to wait but I prefer to do this rather than work from photos. The color and details I can get are more accurate than relying on photos. Luckily this time I was able to get it painted before they all died. My growing expertise is yet to be seen. I don't know if the plant will ever bloom for me again….. for that matter….. I don't know if I can even keep it alive! Thank goodness I have the 52/52 challenge to keep me on my toes!