Every year I paint at least one painting inspired by a famous or significant garden and this year has been no exception with 3 paintings inspired by the orchid festival at Kew Gardens and now this painting inspired by Easton Walled Gardens near Grantham. Still to come is a painting following my fifth visit this summer to The Eden Project in Cornwall.
I first visited the gardens about 8 years ago with a friend who had heard of these ‘lost gardens’ that were being restored by Ursula Cholmeley a family member who moved to the area in 2001 and realised the potential beauty of this overgrown Tudor and Jacobean garden. The family actually first bought the Manor House in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and hold records of the garden from that period which is why the garden can be confidently be described as from that period. When I first visited there were still areas roped off with large signs ‘danger falling masonry’ and as Ursula her self related on a future visit this year..”I started with a notebook and loppers and no budget but with the help of friends and estate staff we have come a very long way” Thats very true as I have seen with 2 visits there this summer and apparently there is still more to come. The garden has a beautiful relaxed feel typical of the Tudor era with orchards, a stream, tree walks, formal gardens, cutting garden, kitchen garden and large areas of wildflower meadows-a favourite of mine that I find particularly inspiring. It has a fabulous selection of sweet peas and is worth a visit just for the delicate scent of these gorgeous delicate flowers and my first visit was during the snowdrop season when these delicate white flowers are abundant throughout the garden. In all A garden well worth a visit and one I shall definitely be visiting again as it continues to develop and mature.
Each time I paint whilst inspired by a particular garden certain individual elements come to the forefront of my mind, these individual elements alongside the range of plants in each garden mean each painting is unique in nature with its own beauty and energy. The colours and flowers are never planned but are what happens intuitively as I work.
This painting was created in my studio and with the help of the numerous photographs I have taken over the 3 visits I have made to the garden. I don’t blindly paint each flower in those images into the painting-they are there just as an aid memoire to remind me of the specific flowers when I have not been able to paint the painting straight away as in this case. I have painted this one over a period of 6 weeks due to other commitments taking me away from home and this had then led to a great deal of reflection as I get back into the flow and energy for this particular work. I hope that you like it and would love to hear any comments that you may have.
You can find more details about the garden at www.visiteaston.co.uk