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Friday, August 28, 2009

Exhibition in the Attic

My exhibition "Art in the Attic" in Darling started today. You will find the info on the right hand side of this blog. Of course it means one thing: I am back in Darling, "the little village we know so well"! The countryside is now carpeted all over with lovely arum lilies. From Lelieblom Farm I received a very large bunch for the opening day, and I have started drawing them on small canvasses. For the next few days I will sit and paint arums in the well-lit attic. I have finished a large painting of arums recently and 5-year old granddaughter, Morgan, is showing it to you. Now that I know how to spend my time in Darling, more paintings of arum lilies will follow.

Arum lily is scientifically known as Zantedescia Aethiopica, but this flower has many other names too. I grew up with the name 'varkoor'. In a very old little rambler's guide I also found the following names listed: Calla, pig lily (the flower resembles the ear of a pig), white arum, trumpet lily, Lily of the Nile, varkblom, varkblaar, Mothebe (Sotho language), iNtebe emhlope (Zulu).

This plant has some medicinal value and is also edible. A heated leave can be applied to sores and insect bites. The best way to heat it is by pressing it with an iron. In this way it acts as a poultice. What I did not know was that the young leaves are edible and can be cooked like a vegetable. Mmmm, any volunteers out there?


  1. Beautiful and painting, and what a charming and pretty granddaughter! Marie, please enjoy your exhibition, may it be hugely successful - and congratulations on the sales so far.

    The fields of arum lilies must be a wonderful sight. I can imagine you peacefully sketching away in the attic...

    The young leaves might taste a bit like baby spinach? Let us know if you try it!

  2. Lovely painting Marie, and I absolutely love Zantedescia. Have only got white at the moment, but had the black variety in my previous garden.

  3. Congratulations, Marie! Your exhibit is beautiful and how I wish I were there to see it in person! Your granddaughter is so pretty, she must be so proud of her artist grandma!

    Guess what, I have eaten the stalks of the plants you've mentioned in a restaurant in the mountains of Nagano, Japan. They tasted delicious when seasoned with miso paste and delicious local spices....

  4. Hoping that the exhibition goes well! How I wish to be there and see you paint the varkore! I still remember how you taught me to paint them with watercolors - they are even more vibirant in acrillics. As far as eating the varkoor leaves, I have seen them used as a "wrap" in Asian cooking, but have not tried it...yet. : ) Thank you for another lovely episode in the West Coast Chronicles.

  5. MacTeddy, Maree, Theresa and rianreyneke, I am astounded that you all know so much about these flowers, stems,leaves, etc. I answer you on the next blog! (on the blog? in the blog? or over the blog like over the phone?)


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