Having enjoyed watching Gardeners World from a time even before I had my own garden I just had to paint the flowers of Barnsdale when I became an artist and had the confidence to do so. I remember sitting on the sofa with my mother so many years ago discussing the beauty of the flowers that Geoff Hamilton was planting and cultivating on the programme. I first visited Barnsdale many years ago when I found out it wasn’t far from where I now live in Peterborough. You may remember from the programme that there are actually 2 Barnsdales…the original which became too small and was then moved to a larger site to enable Geoff to do lots of experimentation and to create more beautiful gardens for the BBC show. The gardens now hold the greatest number of individual gardens in one place in England and are a stunning place to visit throughout the year.
When I take a particular place as inspiration for a painting I usually visit on a number of occasions to feel the spirit of the place. For my work its not about the detail but its about the emotion, colour and overall feel that is crucial. I take lots of photographs of the landscape as well as detail so when I get back to my studio I can remember the emotion and colours whilst painting. Barnsdale has a strong character throughout the garden but also has a separate feel to each of the many gardens so its about soaking it all up and collecting the energy and emotion into the painting. For this painting it was all about august flowers and a focus on a different month would therefore result in a different painting showing other flowers and colours. It is highly likely that I will paint other Barnsdale garden paintings as it is wonderful to have such a fabulous place full of gorgeous flowers and leaves not far away that is open all year round.
The original painting is 100 x 100 x 4 cm acrylics, metallics and fine glitters on canvas and is still available at £995. Available in prints from £45 and cards £2.
Have you visited Barnsdale before and what are your favourite memories from your visit? Are there other gardens that you can suggest that I might consider painting?
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul” -Luther Burbank