Friday, May 12, 2017

A Portrait of La La's Garden

"A Portrait of La La's Garden"
16x12"
oil on 1.5" gallery wrap canvas
"Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it. Rumi

This latest painting is of a very special garden where I visited last summer. I was commissioned by my friend, Angela, to paint a spot in her mother, La La's, garden hugged in on all sides by adobe walls nestled into high desert hills overlooking the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It's here where homes magically and seamlessly blend into the rough dry, rocky backdrop like chameleons. 

Finding a scene to paint inside this hidden garden was hardly a problem as I meandering through lush gardens filled ever so delicately with a vast assortment of tall slender grasses, plants, and flowers, tucked in among shimmering aspens, pools and fountains of trickling water and rocks. Every element of the design was woven together into a patchwork of hue and texture that sparkled with light playing into shadow. 

I spent a good deal of time taking photos at different locations and times of day for reference, but finally narrowed my selection to this enchanted, mid-morning scene. The air was dry and cool with the promise of a bright sunny day as billowy white clouds churned up on the horizon. What finally won me over to this image was the beautiful path covered in soft dappled light that lured my eye through cool deep viridian shadows and then splashed onto the brilliant lime green walkway leading to the birdbath perched in full light of day. 

It was obvious La La's garden had been nurtured and developed over many years of hard work and tender loving care. I understood immediately why Angela loved this meticulously manicured paradise. This, the garden she photographed so frequently, had now become her garden. As Alice Walker said so perfectly, "In search of my mother's garden, I found my own."

Happy Mother's Day!

—nancy 

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