Painting with Castilleja indivisa

This is an Indian Paintbrush.

"Castilleja indivisa" - Grapevine, Texas

Also called a Texas Paintbrush.  This is another wildflower that makes springs in Texas spectacular.  Like the Black Eyed Susan, it can be found growing wild along highways and fields throughout the state.  The bit of blue at the bottom is a Texas Bluebonnet.  You'll find them growing together a lot, although there are years where one is considerably more spectacular than the other.

Something interesting that I learned when looking up the scientific name of this beauty is that what we would consider the flower, the colorful red bits, are actually bracts.  The flowers are are green tones, small and modest.  Learn something new everyday.

As a kid growing up in Texas, where seas of Indian Paintbrush grow wild and punctuate our springs with a dash of red, I think it's a right of passage to read "The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush" written and Illustrated by Tomie DePaola.  (Tomie DePaola also wrote "The Legend of the Bluebonnet" which is another great children's book.)  "The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush" is a wonderful book about a Native American boy, Little Gopher, trying to find his place in the world.  It is based on the actual legend of the Indian Paintbrush, and it teaches children that everyone is valuable in their own way.  I grew up in an artistic family: my maternal great grandfather was a painter, my paternal grandmother had many talents, including painting, ceramics, needlepoint, etc., and both my parents are very creative people.  Needless to say the story of an Indian boy discovering that he would make his mark in the world through the power of his paintbrush struck a cord with me.  When we had to write our own tall tales as a class project in the 4th grade, I made up my own tale about the Indian Paintbrush.  Being a girl and more than a little self indulgent, my story featured a young girl and her love of creating things.  I honestly can't remember if I had her paint the flowers, literally paint the flowers, bracts, sorry, or if she used the spikes created by the bracts and flowers as a paintbrush.  I do remember that she splattered paint on some nearby horses, thus creating the Paint Horse.  Oh, I wanted to make a major mark on the world, and I wanted to do it in paint!  I still want to make my mark, but I haven't settled on a medium, I can only hope it, whatever "it" is, makes a difference in at least one person's life.

What books inspired you as a kid?

P.S.  I just learned that the state flower for Wyoming is the Indian Paintbrush and Tomie DePaola dedicates "The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush" to some friends in Wyoming that shared the legend with him, but didn't make him ride a horse.

*"Castilleja indivisa" is for sale.  Please visit Diggin' It or contact me for information on how to purchase a print.

Posted in , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by