Size: 297mm x 210mm
Original Painting Medium: Gouache
Scientific Name: Fuchsia magellanica
Region: South America
Lady's Eardrops, Mrs. Popple, Falling Stars, Rufus the Red, Sleigh Bells, Ting-a-Ling, Tolling Bell, Cascade, Red Ribbbons and Sophisticated Lady are just a few of the amusing and descriptive names of the many fuchsia varieties available.
Fuchsia's are chiefly grown for their attractive pendulous flowers that look similar to a ballet skirt and spread out to form bell-shaped flowers. The hanging delicate flowers range in colour from scarlet, rosy red, crimson, white and pink to deep purple. The foliage, often growing from pink stems, can be variegated, grey-green and white or yellow with rose-pink tinting, heart shaped, margined with cream or mid-green with pink veins.
When we moved into our home seven years ago we found a number of neglected, overgrown fuchsia bushes. They were very tall and straggly and duing early winter we cut them back almost to ground level. Though this seemed a rather harsh procedure we were delighted with the profusion of flowers that appeared throughout the following year.
A few years later whilst visiting the local market I met a gardener displaying and selling a variety of fuchsia plants. I had not realised there were so many varieties varying in size, form and colour. I knew then that I wanted to portray one of these pretty plants. In 2002 I painted this study in gouache and watercolour.
Fuchsia plants are native to Central and South America and New Zealand. The more hardy varieties are used as hedging plants whereas the hybrid forms, which are not so hardy can be grown as bedding plants, as pot plants in cool greenhouses, as bushes and as attractive trailing plants in hanging baskets.
When other fuchsias fail to survive our more severe winters the South American species portrayed in my fuchsia painting, can be relied upon to produce an abundance of attractive purple and red flowers throughout the summer and is often found to be in flower during the winter months too.