Cup of Gold
Cup of Gold (or Chalice Vine) is a poisonous, large-flowered plant that resembles something that has escaped from the Little Shop of Horrors. However it makes a dramatic still life subject with its large, bright yellow flowers with purple veins.
The flower gives off a strong perfume, especially at night. So when I’m painting Cup of Gold in a still life, the whole house is full of the pungent odour. In real life that’s to attract the bats that come at night to feed on the nectar and pollinate the plant. The flower lasts well in a vase and any well-formed buds will go on to open. The flowers turn deep, mustard yellow as they age in the vase, so there are lots of possible paintings in one vase of flowers. So that’s the Cup of Gold, it looks like a man eater, and with the bats, the pungent odour and the poisonous sap, it’s quite a plant!