How Hollyhocks trap color

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Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1942) was an artist, garden designer, and writer. She wrote playfully about how flower petals can focus and intensify color in the center of the blossom.

Hollyhocks - Gustave Bienvêtu (1850-1916)

"The loosely-folded inner petals of the loveliest Hollyhocks invite a wonderful play and brilliancy of colour. Some of the colour is transmitted through the half-transparency of the petal's structure, some is reflected from the neighbouring folds; the light striking back and forth with infinitely beautiful trick and playful variation, so that some inner regions of the heart of a rosy flower, obeying the mysterious agencies of sunlight, texture and local colour, may tell upon the eye as pure scarlet ; while the wide outer petal, in itself generally rather lighter in colour, with its slightly waved surface and gently frilled edge, plays the game of give and take with light and tint in quite other, but always delightful, ways."

This color effect happens not only in hollyhocks, but also roses and peonies.

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Watch how to paint this effect in my video "Flower Painting in the Wild,"available as a DVD from Amazon and as an HD download from Gumroad and Sellfy.   

The quote is from "Some English Gardens" by Gertrude Jekyll

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