A very gracious woman commissioned me to paint an anniversary gift for her husband. She wanted it to be “through her eyes”, across her lap – showing her hand resting on her leg with her wedding ring, looking out across her garden from her garden chair.
In order to paint it, I had to go experience her garden, through her eyes. What a magical experience, full of joy and heaven. A delightful place, full of flowers and butterflies and bees… a well-loved, orderly chaos of color and life.
We had tea in the sunshine. We shared joy in the morning. The mountains echoed the vibrancy of color and life and sounds of birdsong.
The garden gate slightly opens from the pathway, leading back to her home, but closed enough to keep us embraced, almost secreted in her garden.
“Gail’s Garden” – 24″x 36″ – Oil
I had taken a thousand photos, hoping to compose them all into a working painting. I cannot remember all the different kinds of flowers and insects there, but what a joy.
Before I painted this, I was struck by Gail’s grace – the elegance of her motions and softness of her hand while working with her plants. I painted a kind of “warm-up” painting of her clipping a flower, her braid falling behind her back. When I placed it in the gallery, her husband bought it. But it was not the painting she wanted.
After I completed the commission, I took back the portrait piece, and she was delighted with this one. It was what was in her heart. It is one of the most joyful paintings I have ever painted.
It was a painting of Gail’s heart.