Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sweet Red Poppies

Here is another Ink and Wash, or Sumi painting.  This one is of a poppy.  Years ago I grew them in my garden.  The color, the texture of the petals, and the graceful way the flower would whiffle and bow in a gentle breeze, were a delight to my eyes.

Again, painting this way, is unlike anything I've ever done before.  The brush truly does have a mind of its own!

Poppies bright
Soft petals glow
Sleep deeply

There are some interesting facts to be discovered about the red poppy.  Unlike the its cousin the opium poppy, this colorful plant contains no narcotics.  It can however, be used as a sedative because it has a non-poisonous sedating alkaloid called rhoeadine. The blossoms and seeds of the red poppy are often added to cough syrups.  The plant’s leaves and petals can also be used in a standard infusion to treat sore throats, cough, and chest congestion, catarrh (excess mucus), hay fever, asthma, dyspepsia, diarrhea, dysentery, insomnia, nerve pain, and other respiratory complaints.

A few crushed poppy heads added to a linseed poultice--1/4 lb. linseed, 1/2 oz. olive oil, both well stirred in one pint of boiling water--will reduce pain and swelling. The flower is also used as a dye in teas, wine and even ink.

I've posted the above painting before, but I'm adding it in here with a link, as there is a better description of Sumi and Ink & Wash painting included with that post.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

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