"Musa acuminata" watercolor, 5x7 inches framed

"Musa acuminata" watercolor, 5x7 inches framed

  • Professional watercolor, gouache, and charcoal on 140gsm 300 g/m2 archival grade cold press paper.

  • Comes framed with archival mat and ready to hang.

    • Art unframed: 4x6 inches

    • Art framed: 5x7x1 inches


"Differing voices join to sound sweet music;
so do the different orders in our life
render sweet harmony among these spheres." (Dante Alighieri, Paradiso. VI, 124-126)

My family immigrated from the Philippines in the 1970s so Musa acuminata, or edible banana plants, have been growing in our backyard since I was 2 feet tall. As a child, it seemed these banana trees took forever to grow. Today as an adult, my husband and I have grown 2 banana trees that are finally taller than 2 feet since we planted them over 2 years ago. (Fun fact: they’re technically herbs/herbaceous because they lack woody stems). It still seems like it will be an eternity before they reach reach maturity and begin to bear fruit.

For these reasons, I don’t take flowering banana plants for granted, especially when I spy green and golden bunches. The sheer variety of banana species that grow in different countries and climes is impressive. When you encounter a type you haven’t seen or tried before, I encourage you to give it a closer look (and taste). Some are as sweet as candy, mild and firm, or plain, starchy and best for cooking.

I spied these banana plants at sunset on a brief weekend getaway with the family. As I sketched them out in charcoal, I was straining so hard to make out the curves and outlines of each leaf that I almost missed the beautiful pink and purplish light peeking through the stalks. I committed the image to memory and painted it the next morning in one sitting, As months passed, however, I returned to this painting time and again to tweak a shadow here or deepen a color there. As an artist, you quickly learn that a piece never feels truly finished. Like nature, I believe that is simply a part of the magic of art.