“Charleston” (or, On Painting a Painter’s Garden)

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

About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
This entry was posted in Art, Art history, Art technique, Artists, Gardens & gardening, Menu, Painting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “Charleston” (or, On Painting a Painter’s Garden)

  1. Pingback: From One Extreme to the Other – My Latest Paintings | helenwhiteart

  2. Pingback: When time stood still in Provence… | scattering the light

  3. Pingback: Circles, squares and triangles | Helen White – Painting Light

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