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03 Select a scene to paint

I want to paint a scene set in a garden. So the best way to start is probably at home and the best/place would be the top of th the steps leading to the garden. In my last piece I wrote about artists displaying their wares on fences at the roadside in Oxford. Standing at the top of these steps I’m reminded of a fairy tale from my childhood – something about the fairies painting miniature pictures and getting the pixies to hang them with gossamer threads from the spidered webs on the hedgerows. Not sure about that.

Lets see if imagining where the fairies might hang a painting inspires me to paint anything. There’s a nice cotoneaster bush in front of me with lots of potential hanging spaces but because it’s quite large and covered with spring flowers it’s kind of smothering the scene and unless I go abstract I don’t think there’s a picture there.

Looking to the right I’m seeing the longer part of the garden through an archway. By late summer the arch will be covered in runner bean bean pods but just nose the plants are still making their clockwise twists around the metal uprights and the bright red flowered are still hiding within the tight buds. This does make for a more open framing of the view though and perhaps there’s a picture in there. The trick here is probably to change my height. Getting low gives me a different perspective with a large area of sky, no clouds just now but they’d add something. Standing tall I lose the sky but gain a lot of foreground. It’s a little boring just now – mainly grass, cut as a rough lawn, but it has the potential for additions.

Think we could be looking at a still life setup. Some objects laid on the grass with the arch and sky acting to frame the scene. We could stick to the fairy idea and lay out a little tableau though I’m feeling tempted to pop into the house and pick up a small pile of books to “throw” artistically onto the grass. I could still end up s with an abstract painting or else give myself a good workout exercise in sketching perspective with all the different vanishing points a pile of books offers.

Moving on through the arch the grass opens out with an apple tree on my left and a kitchen garden beyond and on my right a pear tree, two gooseberry bushes and a lot of nettles. The gooseberries will fruit soon and be followed by fruit from some escaped raspberry canes which are growing up through them and the nettles. The latter are probably at their best for harvesting for nettles soup at this time of year.

I think the only painting here would be a close up of leaves or flowers and i don’t fancy that today. So I’ll move on. Further along there a raised garden on my right. It’s used for vegetables in the summer. Just now it’s almost ready to be planted, it’s still got a partial covering os seaweed from my winter attempts at addding some extra nutrition to the soil. That does have potential to inspire a picture though. Maybe something low with emphasis on the seaweed a bit like waves going away from me. I’ll ponder that one.

Well there’s not much further to go in this direction. There’s a the fence with a footpath on the other side, some wild roses growing upmztzhis side and distant trees visible over the top.if I take that scene and add a few people walking along the path I could have myself a quite nice paicture.


Go outside

Find a another

Wild gatden

Indoor plants