I have spent time recently looking at my practice and realised that I have come around in a circle. I have been down a few dead ends and circled some cul de sacs. When I was finishing my MA I started using gardens as a source of imagery. I find myself 30 years later looking at my garden once again. This time it is a garden that has been planted from scratch with many hours of toil and much sweat. It is Queensland.
I have spent many hours drawing the plants and flowers which surround our back veranda. Many of them remind me of places I have lived and family who are no longer with us. I have drawn my begonias over and over during my most recent 100-day project. I love begonias and they remind me of my Dad. Each year he would plant up pots and hanging baskets and my childhood garden was a riot of colour during the summer months. There would always be begonias. I painted them many times en plein air when I first lived in Bermuda. I always think the flowers look like little faces peeping out from the leaves.
Nearly every house I have lived in has had plants in pots. Before we owned a house I would have plant pots which would be moved every time we did. I dreamt of a large garden which I now have but i still love the intimacy of plants in pots.
I used to only plant annuals in pots, the burst of colour was satisfying. However I now mainly have perennials, developing a more lasting relationship with my plants. Although occasionally I will succumb to some pansies or snapdragons.
I love the tenacity of my potted plants. They get way more care than anything in the garden. My rule is once you are in the ground you are on your own. We live on an acreage property and rely on rainwater for our water supply. Watering the plant pots seems like a luxury when the weather has been dry.
100x120x4cm acrylic on handmade panel, framed in simple light wood float frame and ready to hang