Bishop's Balls

The other day I walked into the grocery store and saw a bouquet of flowers that took over my life...  It was one of the most unusual  and eye- catching I had ever seen, and its name was unforgettable: Bishop's Balls.  The young man at the counter told me that the plant came from South Africa originally and that it was very long-lasting.   When I got home I plunked the bouquet in a vase and went on to more pressing things for the next few days.  What the sales clerk neglected to tell me was that Bishops Balls are a member of the milkweed family. My dining room table was beginning to look like a banquet for butterflies.

So down into my studio I went, determined to capture these interesting specimens in a rapidly shrinking window of time.  Photographing was both an opportunity and a challenge. The slightest movement of air sent the milkweed seeds floating right out of my "still life." But it was also an opportunity to honor the style and long tradition of botanical artistry that describes the many stages of a plant in a single image.  

I hope to have some of these Gomphocarpus Pysocarpus images available at the Art Providence Holiday Show December 9th and 10th.  For details on current and upcoming shows click here.