Newish work. Massonia pygmaea ssp pygmaea

I photographed this at the same time as the Geissorhiza picture I posted last week, though I actually finished it in February.

Massonia pygmaea ssp pygmaea. Coloured Pencil on Bristol Board 2017

It is clear to me how much my style has changed in the months since then. This is a very formal botanical illustration, after the style of my hero Franz Bauer. Whilst I still enjoy the process of formal botanical work I had more fun doing the less formal pieces subsequent to this.

This species is, like all Massonia, native to South Africa. Massonia pygmaea is divided into two subspecies, the other being ssp kamiesbergensis which has smooth leaves. Recent work by botanists in Austria looks like separating the two into full species, which I fully agree with as they are very different to my eyes and also behave differently in cultivation. Both flower in Autumn, however, at the start of their winter growth cycle.

Here is a picture of the real thing:


Massonia are a special interest of mine and I posted a photo of another species on instagram earlier (@artyplantsman).


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