Art From a Garden

There will be a new feature on Hearth Arts beginning regularly in October, Bring The Garden In Friday.

If you're like me and miss the inspiration your garden gives you in the warm weather months, finding creative ways to keep that connection to the earth can really brighten up that darker, cooler time.

For five Summers now, my daughter, O., has taken an art class held in the home garden of an art teacher. In this magical spot with garden rooms, the girls paint, drink lemonade and eat snacks of homemade cookies. At the end of each week, O. comes home with a stack of artwork in oil pastel, watercolor, acrylic and colored pencil. Most are done on paper, nicely matted, and there is usually at least one canvas.

Sometimes the girls can sit wherever they choose, and paint what they see. Other days, they are asked to paint vases of flowers. This year for the first time, O. painted from a still life of fruits and vegetables.

We've hung quite a number of these beautiful pictures all around the house, mainly in our kitchen, stairwell and second floor hallway. We still have a few piles, though, and need to hang more and update. We're not too fancy with our hanging--we simply use colored pushpins. I did find this hanging wire, which might serve nicely and make it easier to add new work.

All year long, these pictures fill me with such happiness when I look at them. Mostly it's because they are a reminder of this peaceful, creative, joyful experience for O., and for me, when I visit at drop-off and pick-up.

It's also been a way to honor O.'s desire to be an artist when she grows up.

I asked O. as I am writing this what she thinks of when she looks at her garden artwork up on the walls at home.

It reminds me of the year to come.

Do you mean the school year, or next Summer at art class?

It reminds me of the year to come, was her repeated answer.