March-April 2010, Acrylic on canvas 50 x 60cm
I’ve been working on this painting following a walk in the mountains where I experienced an amazing mass of daffodils as I have never seen before! At this time of the year, in the mountains you might if you are lucky , see 1 or 2 of these type of daffodils growing solitarily, but they seem to be pretty rare. The more usual (although neither particularly common) wild daffodils that you can see in the mountains here are the tiny “Hoop Petticoat Narcissus” (I’m not sure if they are Narcissus bulbicodium or Narcissus Cantabricus) which are tiny & delicate with long trumpets & tiny thin petals.
The added excitement of seeing these daffodils was that they were growing from just below the same beech tree I painted in May last year. You can compare here how I saw it with its leaves and from the opposite direction https://sonyartchasey.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/may-beech-tree-with-white-asphodels/ I already thought it was a very special tree!
To arrive at this point you have to have walked a few hours along a ridge which is just above the tree line & you look out across vast areas of beech forest & across to other ridges & peaks. But until this point there were no daffodils to be seen. I guess for their success there has to be just the right combination of temperature/altitude (at around 700m /2,000ft), a north facing slope, a not too thick growth of forest, a lack of human intervention & probably lots of other things I don’t realise.
They are Spanish Daffodil, Narcissus hispanicus. If ever you have the opportunity to see them in real please never pick them – I wonder if over the years they have been picked because they are so spectacular & if that is part of the reason for their rarety. Many places in the mountains have tracks that some people drive up, whereas this place would be impossible to get to in a car or a quad.
So, for everyone that can’t experience wild daffodils in real, here is my painting of them .