As Potent as a Charm

charm - rabbit's foot

As Potent as a Charm is an ongoing series inspired by the myth, mystery and folklore of poisonous plants. The series title is taken from a line in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale, Rappaccini’s Daughter. In Hawthorne’s story, the title character, Beatrice, tends her father’s botanical collection of lovely, yet lethal plants. While ‘as potent as a charm’ refers to the specimens, it could just as well describe Beatrice who, as the story progresses, becomes just as lovely and lethal as the flowers she nurtures.

The first five prints are based on the mnemonic that describes symptoms of atropine poisoning: Hot as a Hare, Blind as a Bat, Dry as a Bone, Red as a Beet and Mad as a Hatter.

gallery view

The five prints were part of the September 2013 Summit Artspace Gallery exhibit, First Impressions – Celebrating the Process of Printmaking. Both the statement and notes on imagery are available on my blog in the post, As Potent as a Charm ~ statement + notes. Other blog entries from August through October, 2013, provide more detail about individual prints. Browse my blog, the artHound, at

charm - lucky penny

As Potent as a Charm continues with prints inspired by Aconitum, whose common names include Monkshood, Wolfsbane and Woman’s Bane. The initial three prints in the Monkshood group were part of the January 2014 exhibit, Upstairs Downstairs – works of art from the penthouse. Learn more about them in Aconitum, cont.

monkshood gallery view

“Her mischievous take on indiscreet monks, wayward wolves and dallying maidens makes for a dark-humored tripartite tryst, . . .” Artspace residents come together for wide-ranging show, Dorothy Shinn, Akron Beacon Journal, February 19, 2014, reviewing Upstairs Downstairs

Following the close of the exhibit, two more Aconite images were added, playing with additional common names: Blue Rocket, Devil’s Helmet, Leopard’s Bane and Mousebane.