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Ann’s Secret Garden

May 16, 2015

I have been sitting in the garden for a half hour or so, Lou Reed wafting through the open window, the late day sun warming my face and hands.  Rising from my chair, I came inside to turn off Lou, “Sorry Lou”  I said aloud.  There is a magic held within this garden at this time of day and silence is needed to feel the experience completely.

I arrived at this garden on March 31.  The floor of the garden was carpeted with anenome, blue bells, snow on the mountain and multiple varieties of euphoria of whose names I do not know.  The surprise was that this place existed because when I drove up to Ann’s gate that cold spring day,  past all the tall trees and hedges of giant rhodos, it was the last thing I could have imagined.  Those same rhodos are now in full bloom as are the clematis, alongside many many varieties of flowering plants of whose names I sadly cannot say.  This garden is filled with magic and love.  It is daily pruned, watered and earth caressed by one of the coolest ladies I have had the pleasure to meet.  As I sat within this evening I noticed that the roses have begun their bloom and that the hordes of bees are appreciating their presence.  The birds arrive at the feeders seemingly unaware that I am ‘in their space’.  The beautiful, secret garden is a buzz with life during these last golden moments of this day.  It is truly an amazing experience.

I have taken many pictures of this secret,  none of which come close to doing it justice.  I have been outside trying to paint the experience.  That has fallen short as well.  I am beginning to think that some things just shouldn’t be recorded.  Some things are just plainly meant to be an experience, an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.  I have to leave this secret sanctuary in a month and a half, knowing somehow that it will not be leaving me.

There are a few things I have noticed while sitting in the silence here…multiple times  :))  Things I think will help me become a better painter.

I know I try to paint emotion above all else….I am beginning to have a better understanding of the root of that emotion.

I know the value of negative spaces….but am really beginning to understand the energy that exists within that space and between two objects.

I know the power of colour and light….with a quiet mind I now see that this power is nature’s reality.

I know composition is key to a successful painting….my mission now is to consider, simplify and resist trying to copy the perfection of the natural world.  Her mere essence is all that I need to suggest.  Let people experience the paintings through references to their own memory banks.

I am sure that by the time my month and a half is up I will have come to more realizations about the nature of painting and what it means to be the conveyer of an experience.  I am forever grateful for having had the chance to experience Ann’s secret.

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