Art of Gardening, Winter Reflections
I’m asked why I paint so many flowers, florals and garden scenes. The answer is easy—there is so much to inspire me. So much to study right in my own garden, even if winter is here.
In the spring, it’s preparation. Planning. Hoping.
In the summer, I’m busy, busy, busy. Pulling weeds, planting, fighting off the invasion of this bug or that beetle. Transplanting. Taking reference photos. Tending to my inspiration, just like Monet, I guess.
By the time fall rolls around, it’s harvest season and one must prepare for the long winter months here in Wisconsin. In the fall I want to harvest as much as I can in order to stash away as many dried herbs as possible. I savor my inventory of dried herbs in hearty dishes and homemade herb teas, perfect for when you don’t want to leave your home (or can’t due to a snowstorm).
During our Wisconsin winters, I dream of my garden and look at pictures taken from the blooming season, eagerly anticipating the start of new one. During these quiet, dark days, I am in the studio drawing and painting from these cherished reference photos. (Yes, my iPhone is full of photos!) Remembering the glory of blooms past. Looking at their shapes and textures. Translating them to the paper or canvas. Mixing paints to find the right color and shade.
If I am willing to admit it, winter has become a respite for me in some respects. There is no pressure to wake up first thing and go to the garden. I can lollygag in my pajamas with a cup of tea and “Instagram.” I can appreciate what the garden brings without the need to fix, mind or tend. I can enjoy the memory. I can find new inspiration. Sometimes this inspiration is even in the form of the branches and seed pods half buried in the snow. Those who know my garden know I like to leave it a bit messy. Leaving the seed pods, twigs and branches invites the most interesting of visitors in the winter. Chickadees and cardinals for instance. These visitors become another source of muse for my art. And so the cycle continues, the inspiration continues and, lucky for me, so does the art. Cheers!