Friday, July 8, 2011

In a Garden of Delights

We arrived at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine for a day of painting amidst the flowers...

It is a fairly new location which opened to the public in 2007. It features 248 acres of woodland, trails and landscaped gardens in addition to shoreline on a tidal river. Visit if you get a chance.

Marcus came along on this trip. How lucky can I be? He also offered to transport my gear to my painting location.

The garden is so large and varied I couldn't take time to tour all of it and still get a painting done. I was alerted about a predicted thunder storm so I decided to paint in the part of the gardens that wasn't too much of a hike from the car.  It was a summer Sunday, so the place was packed with visitors from everywhere. 

The first garden we entered was "The Lerner Garden of the Five Senses." 

There was running water that meandered throughout the garden traveling via brooks and rills from pond to pond to lower levels of the garden.  

The first painter I bumped into was Debra painting a view from the pavilion. The colors spread out before her were beyond belief...  

It is quite a challenge to paint this and all the other brilliant colors surrounding it...

And John...who was set up on a rise above the labyrinth and joked about his minimalist approach to all this overwhelming color!

Every view was another explosion of blossoms...

It's early July after all...what can you expect?  Summer in Maine!  All nature is celebrating.  

There is a small forest pond in this garden that I would love to have in my back yard. A path of huge flat stones crosses right through the water. In my search for the perfect place to paint I knew I had found it.

It is beautiful!  The only problem was I would have to set my easel up right in the pond or in the plant beds and there are rules about that.

I went back and set up on the wooden platform near the lower pond. No disturbing the vegetation that way. 

At midday some of the water lilies were open.  I'm not sure why some are closed unless its because they are baby blossoms.  They are smaller in size so that makes sense.   

I assembled my big easel which has now become my favorite set-up. Its so nice to have that shelf to hold my paint box and everything I need. 

There was color galore all around me. What is this attraction to flowers I'm having this summer ?  Maybe its my love of gardens.  I've always gardened and have even designed a few simple gardens. I think that if I wasn't a painter I would be a garden designer. 

I packed my gear on this trip so that everything I needed was in my paint box. I duct taped my brushes to the lid so they wouldn't get crushed and bent.  

The spot I picked was really nice. It was on a quiet cul-de-sac with two benches and a view up the lower pond into the gardens beyond.  

Here I painted several studies of the pond and the lilies.

It was perfect to focus in on a specific area and keep it simple in the midst of the overwhelming multitude of choices. I could paint here for days and in any season and still not run out of an amazing variety of subjects.

I didn't even get to see the "Birch Allee" or the meditation garden on the shore line...the garden was closing up for the night and so were the lilies...I'll have to come back and paint another time. 

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