"Caladium bicolor" acrylic painting on canvas, 14x14 inches

"Caladium bicolor" acrylic painting on canvas, 14x14 inches

  • Acrylic on 3/4-inch gallery wrapped cotton canvas

  • Wired and ready to hang

  • Custom floater frame available upon request


"If in the fire of love I seem to flame
beyond the measure visible on earth,
so that I overcome your vision's force,
you need not wonder; I am so because
of my perfected vision – as I grasp
the good so I approach the good in act." (Dante Alighieri, Paradiso V, 1-6)

What causes us to react to something as beautiful? Whenever someone sees this painting for the first time, the words I hear most often to describe it are “gorgeous,” “stunning,” “lovely,” and “incredible.” I don’t know if it’s any of those things. All I know is that I feel so many wonderful things when I look at it. The striking pink leaves, deep cobalt blue pot, the dark Payne’s grey shadow are a few of my favorite colors (though I could say I love them all). But what moves me most about this painting is how much work I didn’t expect I would put into getting the precise translucent effect of leaves and petals.

Leaves, like the human body, are more than a single thin layer of veining. Veins run throughout the tissue, providing food, oxygen and water and eliminating waste matter from every part of it. I spent weeks painting sheers layers of veins between coats of opaque and translucent paints mixed with glaze medium. A clear glaze mixed with pigment applies with transparency so you can still see shadows, shadings and lines underneath the layer.

All things are led by a creative spirit. A major reason why I chose to paint nature–whether plants or landscapes–was to get a deeper sense of wonder and appreciation for what makes it possible for natural phenomena to exist. It took hours of work for me to complete just one single painting of a Caladium bicolor. Imagine the time and energy it has taken for plants to reproduce and thrive across the globe for thousands of years. It’s humbling to realize that no matter how intelligent, powerful, or skilled humankind may be, not a single one of us can form a leaf or a blade of grass.

Caladiums have commonly been called “elephant ears,” "angel wings" or "heart of Jesus" due to their heart-shaped leaves. There are over 1000 varieties of Caladium that range in pinks, reds, greens, light blues and even white. Ironically, as breathtaking as their leaves are to behold, all parts of the Caladium plant are poisonous to ingest and may irritate sensitive skin. It’s one of nature’s lessons: there is always more than meets the eye.