Taracacum Officionale – Dandelion Lawnscape

Taraxacum Officionale
Dandilion Lawnscape
Bonfire charcoal on Strathmore 400 Paper, 4 x 9.45’

The dandelion, a healthful and prolific plant is the subject of this charcoal drawing. Lawn keepers everywhere ineffectually wage war on a plant with numerous benefits for the liver, kidneys, and urinary tract to name a few. My drawing Taraxacum Officinale, which is the plant’s Latin name, or Dandelion Lawnscape examines the weed from it’s beginnings as a pollen granule to it mature form, an overrun field, and finally it’s relationship to humans and insects.

From left to right it can be read as a life span from birth to death. The micro is explored with the blown-up pollen granule of the dandelion and alongside it, to illustrate the flowers’ relationship to pollinators, is a honeycomb with the young larvae of worker bees. Next we can see a field littered with the plant, and beneath it is a study of the surface texture of the pollen granule resembling an alien landscape. A dark diagonal line making up the sturdy stem of a mature dandelion interrupts this space and divides the micro from the macro. Hooking the base of the stem is the curve of a suburban street. The houses that make up a typical neighborhood are flanked and dwarfed by the flower on the one side and a colander of fresh dandelion on the other, indicating that they are edible. The flower proudly reaches the top of the page and opens up to introduce a white space that extends toward the far end of the drawing.

The oval of the colander is mimicked by the closing of that white space up top of the drawing with the curve of a segment of bee wing blown up to an unrecognizable scale. Pollen granules caught in the long microscopic hairs all over the bee flank the far edge of the work. A little army of wispy white seeds float toward the bottom of the drawing like snowflakes. A bee with a heavy load is half visible off the top and the drawing ends with the curling over of a dandelion stamen in the act of pollinating itself.