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About the work

The milk vetch is a botanical species known for thriving in harsh environments. I became enthralled with these creatures after being introduced to them in Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Unsheltered. The Milk Vetch portrays a wild garden surrounded by the shadows of manmade structures attempting to contain it. Despite the efforts to harness the brambles, mother nature thrives in her stalwart errand of growth, indifferent to constructed boundaries. Ironically, the canvas employed for this painting was sitting in my Colorado basement during a flash flood that destroyed much of its contents last year. Since my neighborhood’s establishment in the 1940s, this kind of natural event had never occurred. Climate change is beginning to rear its head everywhere we look. As the canvas emerged miraculously undamaged I can’t help but compare it to the milk vetch - thriving in the face of a hostile environment, just like the feral garden that now flourishes on its face.

Signature: Signed in pencil lower right and titled lower left

Medium: Reproduction archival print


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Noelle Phares