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Manna from heaven by Maree  Clarkson

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Watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm Nature Journal

  1. “Focus your mind, and cultivate this crop; at the proper time, make this your purpose.”
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib

My carrot-farmer friend’s Millet was ready for harvesting recently, and after recalling my mania for wanting to sketch his carrot flowers, he brought me a couple of stalks of Millet, saying he thought of me before the combine harvesters moved in! What a great guy! After cleaning and cutting them down a bit, I immediately put them in a tall pot in the corner of my dining room, where they stood for a couple of weeks. They also make a beautiful dried arrangement, provided you don’t move the vase and release thousands of seeds all over the floor!

Pearl Millet (or Babala) is agriculturally very important in South Africa and is used as forage and grazing for cattle, as it has a high percentage of soluble sugar in the stems. It is an indigenous, annual spike grass and is remarkably like maize, with a robust, erect culm that supports gracefully re-curved leaves of up to 1,5m long. The plants can reach a height of about 5m, but is usually 2,5-3m high. Leaves are a pleasant light green colour and inflorescences are purple and spike-shaped and densely covered with closely packed grains (their fruit), each containing a single, yellowish-grey, oval seed with a pointed base.

It flowers from early spring to autumn (August to April) and is also drought-resistant, requiring as little as 250mm rainfall per year to flower.

Apart from being agriculturally planted, it occurs in patches in KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 4 years ago

    I can imagine how beautiful it looked in your dining room! A lovely painting and thanks for the very interesting info!

  • Thank you Liz! Much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Kay Cunningham
    Kay Cunninghamover 4 years ago

    Lovely story to accompany a fine watercolour Maree. I do not know Moleskine at all and will have to see if I can source some here and try it out! It obviously works for you! xx

  • Thank you very much Kay! They are Moleskine Watercolour Sketch-books and come in various sizes – this was done in the 8″ × 5″ (horizontal) sketch-book and a lot of my work is done in the Moleskine Folio, which is 12″ × 9″, also horizontal (the way the book opens). The paper is not as great as Bockingford or Arches, but it does a nice job.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Ken Powers
    Ken Powersover 4 years ago

    Very nice Maree!

  • Thank you Mr. Powers!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Mariaan M Krog Fine Art Portfolio
    1. Many thanks Mariaan!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • emel
    emelover 4 years ago

    so soft so elegant!well done Maree

  • Thank you Emel!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1over 4 years ago

    Such delicate work, Maree

  • THANK YOU Shulie!!

    – Maree Clarkson

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