This spring I’ve been developing a new patio garden. The plan is to plant in clumps, creating areas of color and texture that will highlight different areas of the garden throughout the growing season. March brought crocus, pink creeping phlox, and woodland hyacinths dancing along a stone path. Transitioning from the earliest blooms, as the crocus and hyacinths faded, white phlox joined the pink phlox along the pathway and candy tufts bloomed below the apple boxes. The single flowering Siberian almond burst into a pink cloud, followed by the frothy glory of the common double flowering almond. Between the path, at the edge of the berm, a variety of daffodils and early blooming tulips complemented the display. The daffodils have faded; the phlox continue to glow. The Siberian almond has turned green, and the double-fowering almond morphs as old blossoms are replaced by vibrant leaves. The wooly daisies have begun blooming along the lower garden brick edge next to the lawn. Stately iris will bloom any day along the masonry edge at the garden’s front. In the old apple boxes that line a rusty metal wall along one edge and a woven willow fence along the other edge, the Texas Blue Bonnet seed has sprouted along with a colorful mix of butterhead lettuce, including red, green, and polka-dotted varieties. Marigolds, daisies, and poppies have sprouted on the berm, along with late parrot tulips. I hope they will be blooming in June for my daughter’s graduation garden party. Soon it will be warm enough to plant cosmos, African daisies, and the hanging baskets.
With this parade of blooms, my thoughts have turned to flowers in my artwork as well. I’m doing some very experimental, direct work. Taking old painting that I don’t choose to frame, I have turned them 90 degrees from the original compositions, torn them in half vertically to create long or narrow formats, and re-stretched the paper for new paintings. The old compositions are like ghosts, influencing my new painting choices. There were many layers of paint already on the first composition. I began with some paint splatters, then added several more glazes. Dark lines and dry-brush dark textures, along with some lifted color revealed the forms and balanced the composition. Finally, I put a touch of gold on the petals.