Where the annual whining about a lack of spring leads me to check out the perennial archives.
It’s still wintry, I miss my garden, and the landscape looks scruffy and lacks color. Let’s not even discuss how current events have impacted my mood. At least I can leaf through my photo collection and recall wonderful gardens that I’ve visited through traveling. Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia and Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario comes to mind, and of course there is a 2010 trip to Giverny near Paris.
Little wonder then that this image of hot pink astilbes appeals to me, as I’m waiting for the perennial plants to awaken and send out new shoots in my Brooklyn backyard. I’ve just created astilbes and lily pads in pigment on paper, taking advantage of the magnificent drama created by Claude Monet. It’s been noted that Monet planted his gardens before he painted them. I often take a break from my studio and go and pull weeds or scatter seeds in the warmth of the day. In the few weeks that I’ve been working on this full-sheet painting, Spring has finally arrived. The cherry tree in the front yard is in full bloom; the epimediums, scilla and muscari have popped up, along with the astilbes, bleeding hearts and columbines. Spring is, indeed, a wonderful time.
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.—Charles Dickens
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 28″ x 21″