Monday, May 3, 2010

A coleus… NOT!

Today, I got an e-mail from Pokey Bolton, editor of Quilting Arts magazine, telling me that she had received an e-mail from a woman in Alabama who pointed out that my piece featured on Quilting Arts TV, which I had based on a photo I took at a botanical garden and identified as a coleus was not, indeed, a coleus.

Apparently it is Persian Shield, or Strobilanthes dyerianus. “This unusual plant displays bright highlights on shimmering silvery-purple to metallic mid-blue leaves,” according to the Alabama Grown website. You can see a photo of the plant here. It does look exactly like the plant I photographed, and as the woman from Plantersville, Alabama, pointed out, it is not a coleus!

So now, here’s my quandary: I’ve already named the piece “Coleus.” It is headed to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham England as part of a SAQA exhibition this summer. Should I rename it? Is this feasible at this point? Or should I just claim artistic license and vow to be more careful in my species identification in the future?

I’m pretty certain that the coleus in my Red Coleus piece (below) actually is a coleus. Whew!


  1. Definitely do NOT rename it. It's your interpretation of "coleus" regardless of the technical name. Art is subjective, and while it's probably nice to know the actual name of a plant it has nothing to do with your artwork. Which is beautiful by the way.

  2. Gorgeous!! I would leave the name as is.

  3. It took a long time for an astute gardener to notice that this wasn't a coleus. Does the name change the piece of art? I don't think so, but it's your piece, so do what makes you happy. The thing that struck me most was that the description of the other plant is so perfectly depicted in your quilt. You captured all those beautiful elements in your artwork. Stunning, by any name!

  4. Hi, Ashley'a mom from soccer. Just stopping by to say hello. Your quilts are gorgeous!

  5. I would leave it as is, even if it is not an exact copy of a coleus, it is your interpretation of it.


  6. Oh my....what to do..wordmama is right only a astute gardener would know, but now you know. Looks like you have the name right there...Coleus NOT!

  7. I think this quilt is close enough to representing a coleus.

    I also think you can name your quilt whatever you like. You could called it Daisy, if you wanted to.

    It is absolutely beautiful.


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