May is for Matilijas, by Claire Partin
Oil on masonite panel, 9"x12", May 2021.
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Painting Series: MATILIJA PAINTING PICNIC 2021
Matilija poppies are, hands down, the loveliest and most melodramatic California wildflowers, and not many people catch sight of them when they bloom. The plant has the biggest flowers of any other plant native to California.
It was the crepe-like white petals and the gold medallion made of yellow stamens that took our breath away when we first painted them two years ago.
Matilija poppies almost became the state flower if it weren't for the California poppies defeating them and taking the honor in 1890. The name comes originally from that of Matâ’ilha, an indigenous Chumash village in Ventura County.
There has been a lot of damage done to the poppies this year due to the fires and drought wreaking havoc in our state. The current bloom is not as extravagant as usual, we hear. It makes sense to us that we give these striking flowers some love now while also documenting how climate change is affecting our close natural environment.
(Series statement written on April 2021).
- Signed by artist
- This painting is in the artist studio, in West Hollywood, California.
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