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The CENTURY GARDEN

By RSConnett
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The Century Garden, completed in August, 2006. A private commission. Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 24"

This is inspired by a magnificent and uncommonly huge 'Century Plant' (Also called American aloe . • Agave americana) growing in a long forgotten meadow above my home.

Though I am still in Los Angeles county, and can see the buildings of downtown LA, there are still tiny areas of almost pristine and primordial loveliness. Little pockets that time has forgotten. While the teeming city has gone up around these areas, no building has been built upon them. Animals from tiny rodents to Coyote, birds, insects, huge orb weaving spiders and several reptile species manage to hang on in these forgotten places. Giant trees, and giant plants are left to their own devices to grow or die a natural death.

I live in such a place. And so does this gigantic plant. The leaves are 12 feet long and 2 feet thick with long needle like spines running down their sides. It's so unusual that it appears to be not of this world. They call these plants 'Century Plants' I am told, because they live up to 100 years and then flower and die. I have seen many others. Never of this size. And I have seen them flower and die and spread their progeny upon the ground beside their corpses. They are very slow to grow. Thus I judge that this particular plant may indeed be close to 100 years old.

I had hiked up above my land and shown this unusual plant to a collector of my work. He asked me to paint a version of it for him. And thus this rendition of the plant has been created for him. (and me)

One interesting thing is this; From the beginning of the painting, I painted the plant flowering. However, the behemoth plant on the hill it depicts was not flowering. Towards the end of the painting I again hiked up to it's secluded spot and to my surprise, it was beginning to flower. Within weeks it shot a flower spike (resembling a huge asparagus spear) 50 feet into the air. When it opened it flowered and attracted swarms of insects and humming birds to drink it's copious nectar. Within a few months, and also coinciding with the final touches of my painting, it lay withered and dying. Around it, hundreds of tiny Century plants, it's children.

If one of these is allowed to grow for another hundred years, it will see the twenty second century. That plant was an amazing thing to witness. ~ RS
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© 2006 - 2021 RSConnett
Comments55
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i like the little wizard guy with the pole
cactusmumkate's avatar
Wow, that´s a wonderful piece :clap::clap: :wow: :aww:
DorianoArt's avatar
ULTRA-FANTASTIC ARTWORK!
story's avatar
RSConnett's avatar
Thank you VERY much! :painter:
Chyme12's avatar
Are you Heironymous in disguise? Splendid stuff.
Andrew-Ross-MacLean's avatar
this is really awesome, really... its like having your favorite nightmare
hailey-bu's avatar
Your work is so rich. Mind blowing ideas that are lovingly painted.

Those moons are just like things i see in my dreams.
RealityUnfiltered's avatar
Your art seems to be inspired by psychedelics.... am i right?
Your artwork is fantastic and the information on the century plant adds something special to it. Its amazing.
stalepixel's avatar
i Love you're stuff man, very good.. very trippy for a good reason no doubt
Suilenroc's avatar
A fine work of art. Love the colours and detailing. :+fav:
Tillinghast23's avatar
Ravens-Eye-Studio's avatar
i hardly know what to say....Your work and your imagination amaze me. You have rendered me, for the most part....speechless.


You are an excellent artist.
cristiedunavan's avatar
Wow, this is just gorgeous.
The expressions on all those planets are just awesome --I love this.
Estallo-en-Impacto's avatar
makes me think if bosch were south american
Regen's avatar
What a wonderful piece of work and accompanying story. I envy your acrylic skills as well as your imagination.
LOURDES-LAVEAU's avatar
This dev just jumped off the page at me. Incredible work.

:clap:
Bill-Cityfingers's avatar
I like this, alot. Its so intricate... I need motivation like you have... Do you sell it by the bottle? :laughing:

In all seriousness... You are so lucky to be able paint something like this. This is entirely on your own terms, you have no inhibitions, and people love it. This is good. This is as it should be. :salute:
DarthGummiBear's avatar
can you imagine looking at this picture while stoned? awesome work!!
fensterer's avatar
Trippy with lots of color and crazy creatures! Nice job! :D
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