In the past week I've done several more watercolors of Eric's garden from slightly different angles, trying to capture the density and busyness of the plants, the dark places where little light passes through and the brighter areas where it does, as well as the style and characteristics of the different species. This is the best one so far; in the scene above you can see lupines, a couple of lily stems, giant allium, ligularia, petrovskia (Russian sage), and columbine.
It would actually be easier for me to paint a realistic, detailed version of this scene! But what I'm interested in right now is something more subjective, spontaneous, and expressive. Certain places in a given watercolor painting always seem to work better than others -- for instance, I like the columbine in the foreground of this one - it's shown a little larger than lifesize below.
Eric, the gardener, came over this morning for a studio visit. (Manon loved him right away.) We talked about plants and looked at paintings, and I gave him this one to take home. It's nice to be able to do that -- his garden gives me so much pleasure and inspires me every time I see it! At the jardin communautaire my friends are all very generous: we share plants and seeds with each other; try to help each other learn, and diagnose problems with our plants; and we admire each other's gardens and encourage one another. It's a completely different way of gardening for me, less private, more communal, and I like that. I'm glad I can add some artwork to this mixture of generosity and appreciation.
Next, I hope to show you the garden and fantastic colorwork of Michel, and the potager of Patrick, in a different community garden plot. But meanwhile, I'm revamping my own watercolor palette and learning a lot about recent pigments: a lot has changed! More on that soon.