“Basking in Sunlight” 48″ x 36″ oil and metal leaf on canvas – $4,300
Many times when I’m doing photography of forests and gardens, I see something exciting that I hope will inspire a painting, but when I look at the shots in the studio, I don’t feel the same excitement. On rare occasions there will be a photograph or series of photographs of the same site that will continue to inspire me for several paintings.
Last summer I was given permission to photograph a private garden and was overwhelmed with all of the color and imagination that went into that garden’s creation. Everywhere I turned there were little paths leading to another burst of color and blossoms. There were so many exciting views of different plants that I began to feel like Mary Lennox in “The Secret Garden”, but none of them stood out as a single inspiring image.
Then I turned a corner and there was my “magical moment” – an overgrown grapevine with new vines looping down and entangling with more developed leaves and clusters of grapes. The grapes were in several stages of development so the colors were varied and the leaves ranged in every hue of green, with golds, lavenders and a few reds as well.
I photographed the plant from every angle and when I looked at them in the studio I was just as enchanted with the shots as I had been in the garden. So far, I’m still feeling the magic and I have completed three paintings of the vines from that garden and am half finished with three more.
I’m hoping to stay inspired for a little longer since my grapevine paintings will be in a May group show at the Lawrence Gallery for Oregon Wine month.