Pincushion- Leucospermum secundifilium


This is a low, evergreen shrub that grows along the ground, the tip of the branches slightly rising. Its common name is the Stalked Pincushion. The small, sweetly scented flower heads draw pollinators such as butterflies, flies, and bees. The delicate flowers are soft and make me think of moving tentacles.

The Stalked Pincushion can only be found on the south slopes of the Klein Swartberg Mountains, between Seweweekspoort and Towerkop, at an elevation of around 1200m. It is considered a rare species because although it is not threatened at present in its mountainous habitat, it is restricted to an area of just 232 km².

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Dwarfed by rocks and growing in dry, stony soil, the wide-eyed wonder of Fynbos is that it not only survives but thrives, making these heathland plants so exciting.

The name originates from the Old Dutch words for ‘fine bush’ – thin, straggly, scrubby, and brown. But on closer inspection, Fynbos reveals itself to be a mesmerising mosaic of plants bursting with flowers. The leaves are usually hard but delicate and the flowers range from soft blooms to the paper-hard petals of Helichrysum bracteatum.

When I come across a subject that draws me to paint it, I consider the whole environment. Colours in nature are all complimentary – purples, blues, and oranges play together. I am also attracted to the geometrical shapes that the movement of shadows and the shadings of surrounding rocks and soil make, lending themselves to an abstract interpretation. There is great scope in the juxtaposition of positive and negative forms and tones.

Rather than a completely realistic rendition of the subject, I try to tell a story, much like the illustrations in a book are part of the narrative.
I really enjoyed working on these three pieces as they challenged me artistically.

Dimensions 610 × 460 mm
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