"Lady's Slippers" 2009 | Oil on Linen | Size = 6" X 8"
The Showy Lady's Slippers (Cypripedium reginae) in this 6" x 8" oil on linen painting are dear to me for many reasons. First, I've loved them since my childhood in Massachusetts when they were prolific. I haven't seen them in the wild for years.
After my aunt's death last summer, I inherited a collection of her photographs. Among all the family pictures was a series of photographs of Lady's Slippers. Because Aunt Jan was the last of my mom's generation, there's no one I can ask the location of these flowers. The photos were the inspiration for this painting.
Of more than 10,000 species of orchids on Earth, only 140 grow in North America. The Showy Lady's Slipper has been the state flower of Minnesota since 1902 and has been protected by state law there since 1925. The state wildflower of New Hampshire, it is listed as an endangered species there as well as in the following states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Tennessee. Showy Lady’s Slippers are listed as threatened in Iowa, Maine, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
I hope you love Lady’s Slippers as much as I do. If so, this painting could save you having to trek out into swamps or woods to find them.