Sunday, January 15, 2012

Patterns and Color in My Garden

@2012, Claudia Ballard, Fancy Cock, framed 8x10 acrylic on canvas panel

Sometimes my garden provides valuable inspiration. The simplicity of the repeated shapes, the round cabbages with their ruffled skirts in green and bluish purple, the (mostly straight) rows of greens: pale buttery green lettuce, shiny dark emerald spinach, smooth bright green mustards, and feathery carrot tops. Lots of contrasts in texture and values. Now if I can just remember to use all of that when I paint!

It is amazing how much you can grow in one tiny plot. When we lived on the farm we had a huge 50 x 100 foot family garden with rows of beans, onions, corn, squash, etc. Now I am happy with a 4 x 8 foot raised bed that my husband built for me that is just a few feet off my kitchen door. I have learned that the more you pack into it, the happier the plants are. We save the pine straw from the yard to use as mulch both to retain moisture and to protect from the heat of the sun and frosty mornings. Nothing is quite as tasty as fresh-picked produce on the dinner table.

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