Passerina Ciris or Painted Bunting

Passerina Ciris smallPasserina Ciris

Look closer for four scientific names and four common names:
platycodon grandifloras for balloon flower;
rosa for rose; mimulis guttatis for yellow monkey flower;
and passerina ciris for painted bunting

The story: 

Passerina Ciris

This piece was drawn partly in anticipation of the eminent colors on their way to us, this 2020 Springtime. Mostly, though, it was drawn as a memorial to Jim Joyner. As a final drawing of 2019, it was fitting to saturate the paper from bottom to top and side to side with as much color as possible. The drawing springs from my love of both nature and my stepdad, Jim Joyner. 

Jim was a career high school biology teacher and took us camping often. I remember him helping me get extra credit on a biology project in the fall of 1977. I was in college following a pre-med program. It turns out I would struggle with the pace of pre-med and eventually change my major to fine art. Anyway, the assignment was to collect leaves from deciduous trees and identify the names, both common and scientific. Jim walked with me through the woods by our house. In about 90 minutes we had identified over a hundred trees. The professor was amazed and so was I. It was another day-in-the-life for Jim, who loved nature, and had it memorized. Jim was in his nineties when he went on from this world and his natural environment. I talked with him about going camping the last time we spoke. 

Here’s to you Jim, a “passerina ciris,” or in other words, for those of us who don’t have nature memorized, a painted bunting.

About the illustration. 

You don’t see the painted bunting at first glance. They usually stand out.
First you see a rose surrounded by other flowers. You would not think of the painted bunting’s coloring as a camouflage, but this illustration hides the bird from first glance by using the vibrant colors of the rose, a yellow monkey flower and a purple balloon flower.
Those flowers were chosen because of the hues they share with the passerina ciris. At the top of the rose’s stem, you will see the scientific name “rosa” and then the common name, “rose.” Also, on closer inspection, the viewer realizes the other two flowers are identified and named. Then the title of the drawing is, “Passerina Ciris” which is the scientific name for a “Painted Bunting.” As with most of my artwork, there is a play on words, since the Painted Bunting has not been painted, but drawn with pencils.

The artwork: 

Digital Print on Archival Matte – Original illustration done in pastel and prisma color
Artist: Tobin Bortner of Bastrop, Texas – drawing done in December of 2019 – ©Tobin Signs/Look Closer Illustrations

What you get:
18 x 24 Print Package with Authenticity Sheet $55 (plus $3.71 tax)
signed and numbered (of 5 – 3 left)
Domestic Priority Mail $12

Passerina Ciris

Also known as a painted bunting


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