©2017 Joy Makon. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Moss Kissed

Here is Brooklyn Botanic Garden at it’s best.

This painting is a window into my life, an interpretation of all that is splendid about spring. Surrounded by cherry blossoms in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, I find myself letting go of tension and worry and sadness. It is a place for me to be alone but not lonely. I inhale the soft colors as if a fragrance, and everything sensual becomes stored and ready to be summoned up in a thought or a remembrance. With a smile.

The sky here is as bright and vital as the cherry blossoms are. Normally I would let one be dominant in a painting, but I wanted both to have equal footing. I made the color values of blue sky and pink blossoms the same and allowed areas to vibrate with the same intensity. The blossoms and the sky are painted with two pigments only, and it is the overlapping and mixing of the two paints that create the various tones in the tree and sky. The white of the paper shines through in highlights and blossoms in select areas, while the texture of branches give structure and shape to the tree form.

Painting the dappled-light hitting the stone lantern was filled with surprises. I chose to just sock it with intense pigment using a fully-loaded brush. Even though I spent a long time drawing the lantern shape, I decided to let go of some detail when painting. Since the basic shape was correct, it allowed me to interpret textures and shadows to explore getting that mossy surface to come alive.

I would like to know what this structure is called: is it called a tōrō or a dai-dōrō or something else?


May 2017
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 14.25″ x 21.5″
this painting is on display at 440 Gallery until October 8, 2017 and then it is going to a new home!











This entry was published on May 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm. It’s filed under Home, landscape, Spring, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Moss Kissed

  1. Joy Makon on said:

    Thank you Margaret for your nice response. I just heard back from Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the lantern is in the style of “komatsu.” The 500-year-old Shogun lantern, a gift of the city of Tokyo, was placed in the garden in 1980.

  2. Beautiful painting!! 😍

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