The Secret Garden

Here is another series of paintings that I know I will return to one day. It is a kind of still life inspired by the Dutch artists, Brueghel,Flegel, Soreau, Bosschaert, Binoit, And others who I can't recall at the moment; and the idea that there can be a closer relationship between man and nature as described In Eden and the re-generation in the Apocalypse. It is a great opportunity to paint all sorts of realism in an abstract kind of way, matching different things in unusual combinations and trying to find ways of harmonising them. Here is a wren and a bonsai Sloe or Blackthorn, alongside a pocket watch, barbed wire and Holly Blue butterfly. Who says it can't happen? I called this one "Sloe Down Time". Sometimes finding titles for the art is as much fun as any part of the process. 


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The materials used, 
Acrylic on Masonite (MDF) using Rosemary & Co brushes.
I deliberately set out to create a summer feel to this painting and the most obvious thing that came to mind was a swallow. Wheat and Poppies and Camomile all add their contributions. The Peacock butterflies always remind me of summer. I found a photo of the old cider jug, or was it a ginger beer jug, they used to deliver ginger beer in these jugs too, and added the name Laurie Lee to it. Laurie Lee was the author of Cider with Rosie, a very summery sort of book. But the most interesting thing for me, as I mentioned above, is the interaction between man and nature. We know, somewhere deep down, it can be a lot better than it is.  Swallows, of course, will happily make use of out buildings to nest in.
As soon as I saw the brass Theodolite I knew I was going to paint it. I love all those strange objects of which I have no idea what some of them are or for. The flower colours were picked because I like them and because they are complimentary to other things in the painting. Forget-me-nots, Yellow Archangel and Chicory. I had some fun with the draw knobs which indicate what is in the draw. Its kind of cute, but the cabinet where God keeps His Creation. I guess it would have to be a much bigger cabinet! All that nice shiny wood. Mmmm. And old books and walking sticks too. I love the colour of Amethyst . 
Goldfinches, Painted Lady Butterfly, Red Campion and Bluebells, twigs of Alder cones and catkins. A blue vase, beeswax candle, and brass microscope to complete the colour harmony = a lot of fun. There is a little bit of Rosemary in a jar too. What I like about this style of painting is that I am able to get so much in one painting and include all the things I like painting. It makes for an abstract mix but remains realistic. Abstract realism! There is nothing new under the sun as they say, and this style as I said in the words by the first painting on this page, the Dutch artists were experimenting with this style centuries ago. There is a book, quite expensive, called "The Magic of Things", (1500-1800) if you want to explore a bit more. Or Google some of the artists listed above.