A Line of Music With Hepatica

Joyce's Hepatica

In the early woods, at the foot of oaks, sometimes you will come across Hepatica emerging from the muddy, leafy floor. I am always delighted by the clear, clean colors of the petals, and the leaves are so cool. They are a favorite of a dear friend of mine. She is the steward of a wonderful site here in Lake County. She is also an organist, loves Bach, and bur oaks. I wanted to combine these elements into a painting for her. I started by varnishing a sheet of music right onto the canvas. As I added layers of paint I was sure to leave areas where the notes shone through, wanting the music to dance through the painting just as Bach would carry a theme through his compositions.

26 thoughts on “A Line of Music With Hepatica”

  1. This is wonderful, Melissa. Your friend shall be most pleased, I am sure. Who wouldn’t be joyous at the sight of Hepatica’s first blooms heralding spring’s arrival backed by a sheet of her favorite music. Just lovely.

  2. Wow, Melissa! This is fantastic!! Your friend will be thrilled!
    Happy Equinox!

  3. I love this! How beautiful to combine all these features for your friend. I’d be thrilled and I know she will be. A very special piece of art indeed! 🙂

  4. Ah, pretty colors and composition. Inquiring minds want to know: what piece of music is that?

    I’m not familiar with wildflowers in the genus Hepatica, but I see from Wikipedia that “some botanists include Hepatica within a wider interpretation of Anemone.” The name Hepatica refers to liver, apparently because the plant’s three-lobed leaves looked to people like a human liver.

    Also on the anatomical side, I remember old magazines having ads for Sal Hepatica:


    1. I appreciate that, Steve. The music is a piece by Bach but I’m afraid I don’t remember which one. By coincidence, Illinois Botanizer just posted about Hepatica, also mentioning that it can be placed under the umbrella of Anemone. Hepatica acutiloba isn’t very attractive, to my eye, but Hepatica americana has nice beefy leaves. Or should I say, liver-y?

      1. We’ll let you say liver-y, but you have to dress in livery or stand in a livery stable when you say it.

        One consequence of placing Hepatica under the umbrella of Anemone is that it won’t get wet in the rain.

      2. I will gladly stand in a livery stable if I get to ride a horse! 🙂
        It is kind of fun, how plants used to be associated with body-parts. Like Pulmonaria, if I am remembering that name correctly. I can’t bring myself to grow it because I can’t stand the thought of the spotted leaves likened to spots on lungs. Gasp!

  5. So lovely, the juxtaposition of the delicate flowers and the delicate notes :-). I like that you capture that sense of possibility that comes with spring – new little life springing from old debris. A sheet of music is a bit like that – dormant notes from which beautiful, living music can spring.

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