Portraits, Gardens and Children

I don't mind winter, but today I am dreaming of spring. If it was sunny and just a little warmer, I would entertain thoughts of how satisfying it will be to wrestle the garden back to order after the messiness that winter always brings. But it's cold and gray and spitting snow

and I want to move on to spring! This painting by the naturalist painter, Gari Melchers, has such a wonderful feel of a day so perfect that the doors and windows could be open to bring the outside in. This is my dream for today as I get back to work in my cold studio!

This week I delivered two portraits to a gorgeous home in Knoxville,TN. One was of a wonderfully precocious boy who divides his time between Knoxville and Asheville, NC. The second was of his two beautiful cousins sitting on rocks surrounded by hydrangeas. I

wasn't able to photograph Aaron in the same setting as his cousins, but I was inspired by a portrait hanging in Biltmore in Asheville of the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted painted by John Singer Sargent.

When possible, a final sitting is wonderful for checking eye color and making any necessary minor adjustments. And it's always fun to see my portrait subjects again! Little M.C. put her own little brush strokes on her rock!

"Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" John Singer Sargent

For me, they just go together. My garden is an extension of my studio, an enormous ever changing canvas on which I paint and repaint as I plant and dig up, move borders and clear out weeds. I am surrounded by it inside my studio and it inspires and calms me. John Singer Sargent was never a gardener himself but enjoyed and painted extensively the many gardens of friends and patrons. In this blog I will be posting about painting, but will also be including gardens and anything else that inspires me!



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Knoxville, TN