Since this blog started while the show was well underway, there are several paintings we haven’t had the chance to talk about because they were already complete. So on occasion we will revisit these works and talk about some of the highlights of their creation.
Sebastian here, posing for this painting Botanists in Bartram’s Garden was very fun, in part because the posing mirrored the situation depicted in the painting. The painting includes four of the greatest botanists in the colonies at that time, Moses Marshall (portrayed by Micheal Alderfer), Humphry Marshall (David Culp), William Bartram (Me, Sebastian Martinez), and finally John Bartram (Jaime Paxson). They are gathered around a Franklinia alatamaha, a rare plant discovered by John Bartram and cultivated by his son William Bartram. In the painting, the two Bartrams are explaining the features of the plant to the curious Marshalls. In the present day the same thing was happening, we were all gathered around the Franklinia in Jaime’s garden, discussing it. Jaime explained how he got the famously finicky plant to grow in his garden (after several failures), David and Micheal talked about its form and features, and I chimed in with what I knew about its history. We had a great time and everyone learned something, and I think some of the spirit of our meeting and the historical meeting made its way into the final painting.