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Milkweed final bw

“Seeds for today…Monarchs for tomorrow”-graphite on scratchboard © 2015 Karen A. Johnson


Milkweed grows in my yard, bringing year round interest to my garden.  In the winter, beautiful formations of pods stand at various angles, weathering the winds and snow, releasing their seeds to spread wherever they land.

I’ve been teaching a graphite on scratchboard class and thought rendering some milkweed pods would be a nice demonstration.  Thinking about the common milkweed, its eradication in fields via chemicals, the reduced monarch population and the call to plant more milkweed, led me to add a shadowy background of migrating monarchs to the pods.  I’m hoping this piece encourages people to plant more milkweed and other native plants to encourage our native insects to thrive.  I miss the many monarchs that used to visit my garden on a daily basis…