Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prairie on Paper

(Ratibida pinnata)
Color Pencil - 5X7" © Bruce A. Morrison

I'm double posting from my art blog this time...I think it can relate to the tallgrass!  

I've been delving in the prairie vicariously through my drawing lately.  If you can't go to the prairie "physically", then why not mentally or on the tactile surface of the paper in front of you?!  

My subject matter is likely one of the most common forbs (flowers) from the prairie, and can be found anywhere that allows it a seed bed.  But I love this plant, no matter how common place it may be.  And I look forward to gathering it's seed every what an amazing smell from a handful of seed!  If you've never collected it, I'll not try and describe it - just try it for yourself some fall.

I called this plant "prairie coneflower" for years, until I was corrected one day, being told it was a "Gray-headed Coneflower"  I had the scientific name correct - Ratibida pinnata, but was never keen on gray-headed...just doesn't sound appealing does it?  Well several months ago I got my new edition of  "Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie" by Runkel and Roosa and the name given it there is "Yellow Coneflower"...I can live with that!  :)  So I'm titling the drawing at the beginning of this blog Entry "Yellow Coneflowers" and I'll throw in the Ratibida pinnata to boot, making it official and correct.

I may do a drawing of "Prairie Coneflowers" one of these days...that's Ratibida columnifera to you sticklers out there!  :)  They grow in our pasture as well, occurring naturally in this SE corner of O'Brien County.

Been working on this piece and others off and on since Thanksgiving...may plant a few more forbs on paper...or a landscape to wander through.  In the meantime I'm still finishing commissioned painting work...but a walk through the prairie in my mind is still a refreshing respite!  

Hope you agree!   See you on the Tallgrass!