36 x 30 in | 91.4 x 76.2 cm
These ferns look so lively because their leaflets have curvy edges that catch the light. To make them sparkle, I added a stroke of pure white to each leaflet. The little fern at the lower left of the painting doesn’t sparkle, but it won’t be outdone. The end of each of its leaves split into two like a fishtail. This is the Fishtail Sword Fern (Nephrolepis falcate).
I was delighted by another detail of the leaflets as I painted them. Note the leaflet at the very end of the large fern in the foreground. It is noticeably larger than its next two closest leaflets. This feature marks it as the Swamp Fern (Blechnum serrulatum). In contrast, the end leaflet of the tall fern on the right is not larger than its next two leaflets, and that marks it as the Ladder-Brake Fern (Pteris vittata).
The Cypress Trees in this painting are Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum). “Bald” refers to their bare winter condition. Unlike most other conifers they lose their leaves in the winter, although only their swollen trunks are visible in this painting. The Bald Cypress grows best in the warm, humid climates of the Southern US.