Art in the garden

In sunny August this year, my friend David Sharp allowed me to be a free artist in his lovely garden in Rushmere St Andrew. He has built there a wonderful Japanese teahouse and placed a statute of Buddha on its deck.

I decided to use pastels for the work. I wanted to create a reasonable size work which would capture the powerful atmosphere of nature surrounding me as well as the teahouse itself and to do it in just one day. I first surveyed the scene from different viewpoints and decided it would be best to just sit on the grass and keep looking up and then down to my pastels and marks on the paper, developing them as I went, in an artist’s freefall state. The first image below is a mash of a photo David took of me working in his garden and the art work itself: a depiction of the creative process going on in my mind. An image of the completed art work, now up in David’s house, is below that.

David and I have both explored Buddhism, David I have to say much more thoroughly than me. I was conscious that I was imagining Buddhist symbolism when doing the work, especially in relation to the path of steps on the right. It turns out that I had drawn eight steps which made both us think of the Noble Eightfold Path which leads to nirvana.

September 2022

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  1. Great stuff. Love the contrast between the fluidity of the Weeping Willow and the angularity of the Monkey Puzzle tree. That’s a fascinating mash-up in the top picture, too. Almost a ghostly Ant in the centre. With a captain’s chair as well!

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