Why does Nature, and why do flowers, inspire me so?
Visually, flowers are totally dynamic. I love colour and they certainly deliver! A bed of flowers holds everything an artist needs – interesting shapes, patterns and a sense of persistenc and eternity.
And perhaps more significantly for me, the act of painting nature elicits a wonderful, emotional response. No matter what is going on in life, when I gaze at nature, I feel my optimism, happiness and even humour return.
And when I paint flowers, I am so immersed in their beauty, in their grace, and their resilience that I am restored.
My grandmother lived in a tiny little cottage of a house in Toronto that was perched on a ravine. Half of her long and narrow 1/4 acre was planted in rhubarb which she sold at the end of her driveway. The rest was filled with beautiful perennial flowers, pear, cherry and apple trees and a little arbour of grapes.
I grew up in downtown Toronto in dense housing without a backyard so visiting my grandmother’s fragrant garden was magical. Climbing the pear tree, stuffing my face with ripe cherries till they dripped down my chin….now that was paradise!
Nanny’s peonies and iris bloomed for 60 years in her garden and later in my mother’s. I brought them with me to Nova Scotia over a dozen years ago and now they bloom here.
The flowers I grow aren’t rare specimens. They are common, old-fashioned flowers that I chose because my mother loved them and my grandmother grew them. And when I sit down to paint them, I think of my dear mother and my grandmother and that makes me happy.
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