I’ve waxed lyrical about Charleston before, in a much earlier post, and my most recent painting is my own tribute to a garden – indeed a place – that had a massive impact on me when I first visited it over 20 years ago and which has retained a special place in my psyche ever since.
Yet, even inspite of the very deep fondess that I have for the place, I still hesitated to paint it – and for much the same reason that I would hesitate to paint Monet’s garden at Giverny or Cezanne’s Monte Sainte-Victoire – for how could my efforts stand up to the inevitable comparison? For just a moment, it struck me that there might be something altogether presumptuous about painting a painter’s garden – or, more strictly speaking, painters’ garden as Charleston was the shared home of artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell who created to the garden to designs by fellow artist Roger Fry – and it certainly made me stop and think more than I normally would.
Anyway, after a small internal wrestle, paint it I did and here is the result; something quite different to my other recent subjects (a Venetian canal, the rolling hills of Berkshire…) but a satisfying subject in lots of ways and a reminder that gardens – a profound love of mine and frequent target of my photographic efforts – could very well provide me with much more painting material if I had a mind to let them.
Find out more about Charleston – An Artists Home and Garden
- A visit to Charleston (promenadeplantings.com)