This painting is a close-up of ice plant growing on a Sonoma County Beach. Originally from South Africa, ice plant was introduced to California as an ornamental ground cover used to control erosion and is now considered an invasive species. I remember as a child, the hillside behind our house which was covered with ice plant. How fun it was to climb the hill, exploring the dense mat of vegetation. How strange the leaves, deep green, firm, fleshy three-sided. I remember how they would snap when broken, a clear wet gelatin inside. Then there were the pink and yellow flowers of which there could never be enough. Climbing, picking, digging, there were also dark excitements to exploration; a nest of biting ants which sent a brother howling to his mother, a black and red caterpillar as large as my hand, and bones. Oh the bones. They were the best discovery! Dinosaurs were they? Or dog bones? Or scariest of scary possibilities… people bones!! Part of me will always be that happy, imaginative child exploring in the ice plant.
- Nancy Boudreau
acrylic painting on gessoed mat board, approximately 5" x 7"
signed, dated and comments on the back