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Sturt Desert Pea: watercolour painting by Marion Shepherd, 2006 [13 of 14]

This flower is the floral emblem of South Australia, the state in which I was born and grew up. I found this particular flower growing in the gardens around the Alice Springs Desert Park, an area of natural habitats with local flora and fauna. A bevy of brilliant crimson pea flowers bloomed in a sea of soft grey-green leaves. It was named for Captain Charles Sturt who noted it growing while exploring between Adelaide and Central Australia in 1844.
I am following in the shoes of some famous Australian artists by painting this plant, two of whom I especially admire: Paul Jones (1921-1997), an incomparable flower painter whose major works Flora Superba 1971 and Flora Magnifica 1976 were published to great acclaim; and secondly Margaret Preston (1875-1963) who was a leading example of Australian modernism. She painted wonderful bold coloured works and made prints of many native Australian flowers.
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Sturt Desert Pea