Wild Wondersome Weeds


Yes: world wide wonders.

I love grasses! All of them. For me they are an endless source of delight and awe…

As you know, grasses have been one of the things I paint the most often. Yes… I have a love affair with wild grasses! I can’t stop admiring them, the way they sway in the breeze, looking like some kind of sea (though impervious to gravity), the way they accommodate with so little soil, so little water, surviving everything, blooming and and spreading no matter what, creating a fabulous skin over the earth, an habitat for millions of small creatures, anchoring soil where it would wash away otherwise… Hundreds of them, all more pretty one than the other, silhouetting against the sky when taking curves on our coastal roads, carpets of them for our bare feet, fodder for the cattle…

Their qualities are innumerable… But what really gets me, as a painter, is the exquisiteness of them. If you take the time to go down and look close, the infinite variety of their structure, the way they stand and flex and spring, the apparent fragility of them, the grace of them… What a wonder!

Wild oats, blond, thin, millions of them, making the fields look like fur, or Rattle snake grass, lower on the ground, with its improbable little rattles shaking at the smallest breeze… Tussock, Plantain, Red Fescue, Feather reed… they astonish me.

What some consider a nuisance, a bother, something to get rid of, calling them “weeds”, poisoning the soil to eradicate them, is for me a miracle of resilience, of beauty, of abundance, a constant reminder of Life doing her thing… in spite of us, in spite of our destructive ways.

I don’t wish to get involved in the native versus non-native debate, but it seems to me that the spreading of species, some invading and some disappearing is a thing we can only witness and learn from at this point. Besides, we, as humans, have followed the same patterns of dominance and invasion, did we not? As I see it, Life will always find its way to thrive, no matter what we think should be or not, what we think is right or wrong. And that is also a source of wonder to me.

More later…

Big Mama's delight ©emmelinecraig 2005

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