Fields of Gold, 12x16, pan pastel on pastel mat paper, copyright 2011, Jan Blencowe
Don't you just love yellow? These fields are filled with Goldenrod, a beautiful late summer wildflower, or weed, if you like. There are other more garden friendly varieties that are bona fide perennials for your garden. One such variety is Peter Pan another is Fireworks.
In addition to being the name of a wildflower, "goldenrod" is also the name of a color: defined as "a strong to vivid yellow."
Goldenrod in part of the the genus, Solidago. Many species exist; Audubon's Field Guide to New England states that there are more than a dozen in that region. One of the more widespread -- and more striking -- types of this flower is common or "Canada" goldenrod (Solidago canadensis).
Medicinal usage traditionally has ranged from anti-inflammatory to diuretic uses. It was also used as a vulnerary herb (i.e., a plant used to promote the healing of wounds), as were sweet woodruff and yarrow . In fact, its function as a vulnerary accounts for the genus name, Solidago, which derives from the Latin solidare (meaning "strengthen" or "make whole").
This flower is widely known as a plant that attracts butterflies. Canada goldenrod is a food source for the following butterflies:
- Clouded sulfur
- American small copper
- Gray hairstreak
Goldenrod attracts a number of other insects, too, including bees.
Thanks to the good folks at about.com for the above info,
Here are a couple of progress shots and a detail so you can see how the painting came together.