In the Garden

IMG-5999

24×48
Acrylic on canvas

Do you ever feel anxious? Nervous? Your stomach is in knots, and you feel powerless?

I can remember moments sometimes faintly, other times distinctly, throughout my life where I was overly anxious. I’ve done different things to try and ease the feelings and keep moving forward despite the fear. At times it was a quote hanging on my wall, other times reading notes from friends, and sometimes it was picturing a place that was peaceful. As a kid, I would picture a fountain and petting a dog that looked like Bengi (from the TV movies.) As I grew older it might be picturing myself someplace I loved to go.

With room to run or to sit quietly in the shade, this picture has a calming peaceful quality. Worries are left behind, birds chirp, a bee buzzes by looking for a flower. I think we all need spaces like this. Reminders of Eden, of rest and beauty, to leave behind what’s been burdening you. Where do you go to recharge?

This scene was inspired by a walk around Leu Gardens in Winter Park, FL. I love the variety of plants and trees they have there. Old oaks with limbs stretching so far, flowering bushes, curving pathways, all to just enjoy.

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6×6 studies

I had a few holiday craft mart type events in early December. I wanted to make sure I had some lower price point items, so I embarked on making a number of 6×6 inch studies. I love painting on large canvases, but with smaller ones, there is a freedom to experiment and paint more loosely. I did groupings of four each with different themes: winter, spring, beach, wooded areas, parks. The paintings can most times be completed in a sitting, however, coming up with fresh subject matter for twenty paintings in under a week was tiring. Some will serve as inspiration for future larger pieces.

Trial Garden

36×36

Acrylic on canvas

People plant flowers to enjoy their beauty or scent and then care for the plant. Some blooms arrive annually announcing what’s to come, fruit or produce. Some flowers are spread by birds scattering seed and bees helping the process by pollinating. Some flowers spring up in tucked away corners with only the sun and animals as admirers.

I don’t have a green thumb, and beautiful flowers don’t live long at my house. But I still enjoy their beauty. I love visiting this garden every time we are in the area. It’s is called the Flower Trial Garden and is part of Colorado State University. It’s a research project, planted yearly to learn, teach and evaluate how the flowers do in the high plains/ Rocky Mountain region. Beauty that moves our hearts, brings hope, encourages, delights, intersecting with science that observes, alters, corrects, brings understanding and progress.

A good Gardner both appreciates the beauty and knows (or learns) what each plant needs. Adjustments are made, pruning is done for the better of the plant. We too have a gardener, who desires to prune off dead non-fruit bearing parts to achieve something that is thriving and beautiful. But unlike plants we have a choice, accept the pruning and care or fight against it.

Recharging

Mead garden #2

24×24

Acrylic on canvas

How many devices do you have that need charging? Phones, watches, tablets, computers, batteries all need a power source and all conveniently show us how much battery life remains. Plug in the device when needed and it recharges, bringing it back to full power. With all our inventions and technology you’d think they’d have come up with something indication when humans need recharging.

Daily we need rest, our bodies tell us when we are tired. However just as is to be able to recharge emotionally and spiritually. We may spend our days caring for others but become drained if we are not looking taking the time to care for ourselves. There are many different ways one might reduce anxiety and practices that help one reconnect with God. God set a pattern in Genesis, an example for us to keep. Work, then rest.

I enjoyed the garden walking around, and caught still more as I stopped and looked around. Yet sitting down, being still even for a few moments allowed me to catch my breath and appreciate where I was. Taking in a park brings refreshment, helps charge my battery. Are you running close to empty? What do you do to recharge?