Wild Verbena

Wild Verbena, Purple Thistle and Pink & Yellow Lantana.

Today in the Texas Hill Country we’re on the verge of some stormy weather. While everyone hopes for rain, in these parts it’s drought or flood without much in between. In anticipation of the rainy weekend I ventured out into the empty lot behind my place and waded through the tall green grass to pick some wild verbena.

Verbena (in this case purple) is one of many Texas wildflowers that grace the otherwise scrub and cactus rural landscape in spring and summer. These flowers are made up of heads of tiny, delicate petals atop an otherwise weedy plant. Their heads bobble in the breeze, moving like stationary waves. Yet another subtle form of earth poetry – astonishing beauty that nature tosses off like an afterthought.

I pulled up a modest bouquet by the roots intending to transplant them into pots. And that may still be their destiny but now that these lavender blooms adorn a pass through window to my kitchen I have another idea. While it rains this weekend I will cook up some culinary magic and use these field flowers as subjects of a still life.

Pink, Yellow and Violet Lantana against Dark Green Leaves. Scrumptious, even if the photo is out of focus.

This art project is destined to be primitive as its been many years since I’ve dipped brushes in paint to make my mark on canvas (in this case watercolor paper). A mild sense of trepidation accompanies these plans. What if my effort is no good?

Hah! The inner critic is still alive and kicking. I tell him “ so what,” in brave defiance to this mocking part of myself. The thing is, there’s no pentimento in watercolor. So even though I’ll most likely paint in abstract, watercolor DOES require planning. Once the color hits the page there’s no turning back.

Therein lies the paradox. How to capture the wild beauty in some form worthy of being called art without stifling my own inner wildness? I’ll post a photo of the results of this adventure in paint later. To be honest, I’m already more enthusiastic about the color variation of the accidental lantana. We shall see what transpires. Stay tuned.