How To Identify Flowering Plant Families


The composition is based on Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”.

Text running down the central axis of the drawing is from the Chandogya Upanisad and reads: The essence of plants is a person”. This is a twist on the humanist concept of Man as The Measure. The letters of the words are grouped into seven groups to obfuscate the straight-forward reading of the sentence and create a secret language that has to be “sounded out” to be understood.

This is also a play on its title which suggests an academic way to engage nature. This figure, however, is choosing a direct, experiential path.

The star text at the bottom is descriptive jargon pulled from botany texts either describing flower parts or flower orientation.

The setting has been stitched together from several reference photos taken in the Santa Ynez valley.

The plants all come from illustration in the book from which this drawing takes its title.


E.A.B. 8/30/10