Friday, May 23, 2014

Agave Trinity

Agave Trinity
18 x 12

Many Agave Salmiana (also called "Green Giant") in my neighborhood are preparing a big feast and putting up their candelabra for the table. San Marcos Growers describes as: This architectural succulent is recognizable by its thick, graceful, dark gray-green out-curving leaves with projecting spines and massive stature, reaching to 5-6 feet tall by twice as wide. When the plant matures and blooms the tall candelabra inflorescence rises to over 20 feet bearing yellow flowers that attract birds and bees.

This specimen by the mailbox was getting ready to bloom a few weeks ago and I snapped some photos. What I liked about this composition I cropped out was the pattern of three crossed flower spikes repeating. Three equals a Trinity and in my mind, this flower is kind of like the final sacrifice and offering this plant makes. This is not just about death, but continued life as it feeds the hummingbirds, small birds and bees. As I think about it, not only does the plant live on in the pups that inevitably are produced at the base, but the life is continued by the bees pollinating. If this stalk were to be left up, small pups would form on the stalk. I only know this because one of my neighbors left one up last year and as the stalk dried and the plant continued to whither, more life sprung from the top.

Here is the photo and progression of the painting I call Aga
ve Trinity. I really got into the process and was "in the zone". So much so that I only took one progress shot. This is one that "fell of the brush".

Source Photo
Under Paint - Pastel/Alcohol

Final Painting

I hope you enjoy viewing her and hearing her story as much as I enjoyed painting her. Next I hope to portray her in full bloom. I was quite sad to find that a Green Giant in flower in the median between roads on the way to my house was suddenly gone one day. So, I had to snap a photo of this girl by the mailbox before the landscape company cuts it down :(

By the way - if you haven't already figured this out, you can double click on any of the images for a closer look!


  1. I love your work Ann Lisa, thank you for sharing.

    1. Mary - thank YOU for taking the time to pen the lovely note and for reading!