Visual exploration of orchids of Wisconsin and the vanilla plant.

Featured Artist Helen Klebesadel

Moccasin Flower Field, watercolor, 24x22, 2010
Orchids and Other Flora
My visual concerns run the gamut from careful study to poetic, symbolic and sometimes political representations of nature and human nature. Using watercolor as my primary medium I explore the magic found in every day experiences and the broad social issues represented through common objects.
The watercolors shown here are some of the artworks that will be exhibited as part of a three-person exhibition, Orchids and Other Flora at the Grace Chosy Gallery in Madison, WI with artists Peg Ginsberg and Yueh-mei Cheng. Opening November 5th, the exhibition continues until November 27, 2010.
I paint what I am interested in learning about. Recently orchids have caught my attention. While most of us think of orchids as the coveted ornamental domestic plants known for their delicate exotic grace that symbolizes luxury, beauty and strength, I find myself drawn to exploring the place of the wild, the common, and the overlooked. Currently I find myself most interested in discovering the wild, and sometimes endangered, orchids of Wisconsin and exploring the vanilla plant, the only orchid we cultivate for its flavor and food-enhancing aroma. These paintings represent my physical, emotional, and intellectual journey through the Wisconsin woods and prairies and an exploration of the global history of vanilla and its cultivation past and present.

Moccasin Flower Field, watercolor, 24x22, 2010 Vanilla Orchids II, watercolor, 30x22, 2010 Vanilla Orchids I, watercolor, 30x22, 2010
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