2 Backyard Garden Paintings in the Village of Mathews

Painting in Italy for two months, I’d wished to absorb the Tuscan lifestyle. I wondered what it would look like if it could seep into my paintings?

I think it’s finally beginning to show itself!

I painted these two small plein air paintings in my backyard garden of Mathews last week. I can feel the warmth and friendly nature ~ the joy of simply being here ~ in both of these paintings.

VillageMathews!
Village Mathews I, oil, 10 x 10

2 Backyard Garden Paintings in the Village of Mathews

A village landmark, this corner eatery is festive and popular with the locals. It could be in Tuscany? in Venice? in France? it’s in Mathews, Va!

I am so grateful to live in such a warm and friendly village.

VillageMathews!D
This is painted on a cradled wood panel. It hangs flush to the wall for a really clean, contemporary look. Edges are neutral blue gray.

Hunkered in the shade of the Halcyon building, I turned my easel 90 degrees for another village view.

Painting my backyard garden with a cottage silhouette gave me a new way of seeing a local landmark. The old Sibley’s Store takes on a joyful disposition juxtaposed with the corner garden blooming across the street.

Even the pole garden beside it lights up. I find myself wishing for blooming flowers cascading from the front porch!

VillageMathews2
Village Mathews II, oil, 30 x 15
VillageMathews2D1
detail, Village Mathews II
VillageMathews2D2
detail

Perhaps someone will be inspired to plant them?

2 Backyard Garden Paintings in the Village of Mathews

A Peek into Joy’s Garden ~ Plein Air Painting Lesson

Searching for small pastel papers to continue my journey back into pastel, I came across 3 plein air studies I’d done in 2013. Just after Dad died, I attended a plein air painting event in western Maryland. Mountain Maryland Plein Air in Cumberland and Allegany County is a wonderful intimate event. I welcomed the chance to paint in some beautiful private gardens.

plein air garden painting
inspiration plein air oil painting on gessoed paper, 12 x 9,

Stumbling across the old paintings in the drawer, they felt dark and lifeless. It got me wondering how they would look today. I set one beside a fresh pastel paper and began blocking in the background shapes.

I resisted the temptation of painting back into it directly. Moving on, I worked with the new palette for awhile. Nothing like it’s inspiration piece, I felt unsure.

I sucked it up and kept going.

A Peek into Joy’s Garden

Setting it in the frame helped me step back and see it away from my previous vision. I like to keep a few frames in the studio for just that purpose. So many times I can’t see a painting’s strengths and weaknesses until I see it in a frame.

plein air garden painting
Late Bloomer I, pastel on sanded panel, 10 x 8, PURCHASE INFO>

A day later I found myself in the botanic garden photographing tulips. Sitting in the cafe garden with a cold drink, I felt at home. Mind racing with painting images, colors for the new palette I’d ordered. I can taste the sweetness. Can you feel the shift in the two paintings?

I sure can. The difference between saying goodbye to Dad and stepping into Joy’s Garden is profound. I hadn’t realized until I finished writing this, that today is the anniversary of Dad’s passing. Rest in Peace Dad.

abstract floral pastel painting
Late Bloomer I, pastel, 10 x 8, PURCHASE INFO>
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