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Postings are excerpts from the exhibition catalog edited by Carol Woodin

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lakeside Daisy, Watercolor by Dianne McElwain, US

Tetraneuris herbacea

Listings: Threatened, Federal Endangered Species Act; Endangered, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan; Threatened, Ontario, Canada

The Plant’s Story

Historically found in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio, it is now estimated about 95% of the world’s remaining population of lakeside daisy makes its home in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada. It favors limestone areas with good drainage that dry out quickly, called “alvar” communities. The lakeside daisy has been affected mainly by quarrying, but also by other forms of development, human foot traffic, and foraging by animals. In Ohio, the property containing what was believed to be the last naturally occurring US population of the daisy was purchased in 1989. These 19 acres in the middle of active quarry lands form the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve. Golden daisies carpet its open sunny landscape in May.

The Artist’s Story: Dianne McElwain

I found this particular group of lakeside daisies at the Ohio Governor’s Garden in Columbus, Ohio. I arrived at the Governor’s Garden in late April, 2008, just when the daisies were beginning to bud. When I returned in May, I found the flowers all dropped to the ground and the stems twisted, because they follow the movement of the sun. They were very artistic looking and that’s when I decided to paint the entire plant in its habitat. First I did very detailed drawings from life of the flowers and leaves. Then I did color studies of the flowers. The final painting is done in watercolor.

More of the plant’s story and the artist’s story can be found in the exhibit catalog, available at the exhibition venues or online from the ASBA.