Sunday, June 20, 2010
This was painted at the Heritage Square Museum, which is kind of like a retirement home for old houses. The Hale House was its first resident - a gorgeous and quirky Victorian; I chose to paint only this small detail of window, because I know my limits and because I was attracted to the colorful sun-catching planting.
My first foray into gardening was indoor potted plants when I was in my teens. I had only to find a nice spot for the plants and water them, and they rewarded me with life, lush greenness and oxygen. I branched out into flowers next. It was much trickier to keep plants alive outdoors, with a variety of weather conditions and herbivores. Yet it was more than just keeping them alive; I needed to encourage beautiful blossoms as well, possibly even fragrant and colorful blossoms. when I took up cultivating fruits and vegetables, there were new areas of concern: my plants needed to produce in quantity, and my fruits and herbs should have a pleasing texture and flavor. My prizes should grow to a proper size and juicy ripeness.
Art has been quite a lot like gardening for me. A painting consists of subject, composition, lines, values, colors, and technique. Sometimes I can't get any of those to work. The more I try to paint, the more respect I develop for painters. Paintings that I once would have written off as bland or trite, now show me a level of mastery I know can't even touch. Wish me luck. And water and sunlight.