This strange looking creature is my attempt at a milkweed seed pod.
The challenge here was to capture the hardness of the pod shell and stem, the soft airiness of the spores, and the fuzziness of the shell coating. I definitely missed a bit on the spores but it’s a good attempt, I think.
Lesson learned – plan your background before you start. I was working on a wooden table and the shell got lost in the burnt umber. A quick background wash with Quinacridone Gold helped, I think.
Monarch butterflies migrate here in the summer and they’ve been getting scarcer partly due to a lack of milkweed. I was delighted when my husband showed me some in the garden. I confess I didn’t have a sweet clue what it was.
Once I found out, I let it grow, and now give these seed pods to friends and family to plant hoping for an increase in the monarch population.
More butterflies equals a healthier environment (and more beautiful things to paint) don’t you agree?