24x30 oil on wrap around canvas
Sometimes a childhood garden can be a magical place for the imagination. A place of fairies, living in tiny villages under the leaves and flowers of the garden, and sleeping on beds of moss. It can be a place of birds and butterflies that seem to follow a child through the garden as they play, as if they want to be their friend. It can be a place of secret worlds for a child to call their own, discovered under the branches of a crab apple tree, laden down with sweet smelling blossoms.
Every May I would crawl under those branches, my arms full of dolls and tea sets, and spend the hours there, tucked away in my own little world. The little mini flowers were every lovely shade of pink and so thick, from underneath, you couldn’t even see the the blue of sky. But the Springtime sun would shine brightly through their translucent petals, making my whole hidden world a rosie glow. Of course, like most magical worlds, it only lasted for a short time. But for it’s last performance, that beautiful crab apple would do the most magical thing of all. It would snow down lovely, delicate pink petals all around my hidden world. I would lay down in the grass, and let the pink snowflakes fall all around me.
A part of a series of that began with the faintest recollection of Springtime, walking barefoot, on beds of moss, in my mother's garden. This developed into a lovely recognition of the impact this woman and time spent in her garden has had on my life.
Years ago, in considering doing a series inspired by her gardens, I had written this note:
" The love for beautiful things is a gift my mother gave me without knowing it. She didn’t wrap it in a bow and hand it over. She gave it subtly, unexpectedly, on her knees, bent over arching stems that held trumpeting tiger lilies. She gave it in canvas tennies, stepping on dewy grass to point out Lilly of the Valley. She gave it by songs sung and stories told in the midst of cool evening shadows and the heady fragrance of phlox.”
This series, of Spring flowering branches and signs of new life, are a homage to my mother, and her beautiful garden.