I can’t believe it, I’ve made it to the last day of the 30 in 30 Challenge! I’ve painted a special painting of a ghost orchid for a friend. There is also a sphinx moth hovering over the ghost orchid and I’ll tell you why I painted the sphinx moth in a moment.
I did a little research on this interesting sounding and beautiful orchid. A quick Google search and I’ve got all kinds of info. A ghost orchid is a rare and endangered orchid found mostly in the extreme southern swamps of Florida and in Cuba. I thought it was named a Ghost Orchid because it looks like a ghost, and I can see that it does kinda look like a typical sheet type ghost you see on “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” or a Halloween episode of Brady Bunch where Jan and Cindy see a ghost. Ha ha… I love that one!
I think it also looks like a frog and I guess a lot of other people do too, because it’s also known as the white frog orchid. The reason it’s called the Ghost Orchid is because it doesn’t have any leaves and it stands out about 10″ from its roots and appears to float (like a ghost) away from the host tree. It’s an epiphyte so it grows on another plant, not in the ground.
Now where the sphinx moth comes into play is that it is the only pollinator with a long enough proboscis (the long sucking mouthpart) to get to the pollen in the Ghost Orchid. This is also the reason why they are rare, not enough pollinators. That and the fact that they typically have one bloom once a year between April and May and only have the flower for 10-14 days. Once pollinated, the seed pod takes almost a year to mature before it scatters the seeds. (The proboscis is the cute little curly cue thing which looks like a skinny trunk on the moth – see the painting).
Recreating the high temperatures and humidity is extremely difficult, but not impossible with a patient greenhouse owner – and that’s another reason they are so rare. A classic orchid we see everywhere from the big box stores to grocery stores are low maintenance and grow well in our comfort zones of the house so this Ghost Orchid sounds like it’s real fussy pants to me.
The reason why I painted this unique orchid is because of a ghost investigating friend of mine. He asked me to paint him a Ghost Orchid a couple weeks ago and I thought I would go out with a bang on the final day and paint this elusive orchid. My friend Bill has taught me just about everything I know about ghost investigating, he’s been a trusted friend for several years now. He’s a fellow rock hound, is a retired firefighter, has the sweetest father ever and has more stories to share than you can shake a stick at. He’s just a real interesting and fun guy to hang out with. Bill has a blog where a lot of his investigations have been written about. Give it a look, I’m sure you’ll find it fascinating.
I may have prints available of the Ghost Orchid if there is enough interest.
I’ve been having issues with my site, my shop in particular. If you’ve looked for sometime to purchase and keep getting the same page, that’s the problem. I hope to have it fixed soon. Until then, the PayPal buttons are working and you can always contact me if you would like to purchase anything.
Thanks for stopping by. Below is the same information I post on each painting post during this challenge to explain it to new visitors.
What’s the point of the 30 Paintings in 30 days challenge?
I want to be a better painter. To be a better painter, I must paint more and more.
The whole point of the challenge is to get yourself back in the habit of painting everyday. Now I haven’t stopped painting, but I certainly haven’t painted as much as I wanted in the last few months. So I’m joining in with the challenge to give myself a goal and to help me to feel held accountable, too. Not that the Painting Police will come and pick me up if I don’t paint everyday, it’s more of a self motivation thing. I’ve signed up on Leslie’s website and I’m hoping to be able to accomplish a lot of painting.
I’m not expecting to get gallery worthy paintings each day, I may not even paint a whole new painting each day. I’ve been there done that and that was stressful. I put the stress on myself, but nonetheless, it was stressful. I do hope to foster the act of going into my studio each and every day to get more painting accomplished. You know what they say about habits, it takes 21 days to form one. It will help me get better by practicing more and more.
See the blog posts of the paintings I’ve painted during this challenge here or see the paintings ganged up on my Paintings Archive Page. Thanks for stopping by.
Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page in the menu at the top. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started creating more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is mystery.
If you would like to keep up with what I’m doing, join my email list. About once a month I send out a letter that gives you invitations for shows, birthday greeting, sneak peeks at new work and more. I’d love for you to add your email to my Friends and Collectors list!