This 2012, I was invited by Florida artists Xavier Cortada and Bethany Taylor to participate in the initiative Flor 500. This is the description of the project, as noted at the project website:
FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature, and history project created by Miami artist Xavier Cortada to commemorate Florida’s quincentennial in 2013. The project marks the importance of the moment when the history of our state changed forever and gives us a glimpse of what its landscape was like 500 years ago.
Five hundred Floridians will be invited to depict 500 native wildflowers – the same ones that grew in our state when Juan Ponce de Leon landed in 1513 and named it “La Florida”–from “flor,” the Spanish word for flower. A team of scientists is selecting the 500 flowers. The artwork, along with information about each flower, will be posted on the project website (www.FLOR500.com).
I decided to illustrate the flower Woodland Poppy Mallow, or Callirhoe papaver, a colorful Florida-native flower. I got inspired by watercolor paintings of flower fields. This technique offers a opaque, rather smudged depiction of an otherwise organic and even shiny surface of flower petals and stems. With that in mind, I developed a series of watercolor textures based on the color palette of the flower, and then, I illustrated the flower using geometric forms encasing sections of those watercolor textures. I then used these flower depictions to create a pattern.
Here’s the final product.
The participating artists and their flower pieces will be available online for the public soon. To know more about this state-wide art project, click here.