Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Floral Painting of a Poinsettia, A Touch of Lime, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

16x20, oil on canvas

It is December after all... so why not paint a poinsettia?  Native to Central America the poinsettia blooms in the tropical highlands during the short days of winter, and was known by the name of cuetlaxochitl to the ancient Aztecs.  The Aztecs extracted a purplish dye for use in textiles and cosmetics from the plants bracts, which are the coloured specialized leaves of the plant, and the milky white sap, today called latex, was used for some medicinal purposes.
Thanks to the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, a physician, named Joel Poinsett (he was the ambassador from 1825-1829), 'Euphorbia pulcherrima' plants were eventually cultivated in South Carolina.  Mr. Poinsett's real love was in the science of bontany, and this 'most beautiful Euphorbia' (as the name translates to) soon became known as a poinsettia.

Guess what else Mr. Poinsett is famous for?  He founded the institution which we know today as the Smithsonian Institution.

16x20, oil on canvas


Kim said...

Beautifully painted Kim. Really nice composition (and Christmassy : )

Linda Popple said...