Sturt Peas and Zebra Finches – Original Painting
Helen Ansell Original Painting
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Acrylic on canvas, 116.5x200cm.
The top end of Australia is a harsh yet stunningly beautiful environment. I have screeched my car brakes to stop and take photos of bright red Sturt Peas growing in the wild – yet sometimes these beauties commonly grow in the gutters and town roadside verges! I love the colour combination of the dark red soil (Pindan) the purple and green Mulla Mullas, red Sturt Peas and clear blue skies.
Zebra Finches are tiny yet amazingly detailed. Flying in large flocks they are often a sign of water nearby and before you see them you can often hear their tiny “peep peep” letting you know they are around.
Sturt’s desert pea (Swainsona formosa) is one of Australia’s best known wildflowers, made famous by its distinctive blood-red leaf-like flowers, and bulbous black centre, or “boss”.. It is native to the arid regions of central and north-western Australia, with a range extending into all mainland Australian states except Victoria. It flowers after rain and at different times of year depending on location.
The Australian zebra finch or chestnut-eared finch (Taeniopygia castanotis) is the most common finch of Central Australia ranging over most of the continent, while avoiding only the cool moist south and some areas of the tropical far north. It lives close to water and places where rain concentrates after it falls; hence its association with Sturt’s desert pea.