Even though I created this garden design painting in the states, it’s fitting I post about it now in Chile, initially inspired by the dreamy courtyard gardens at Huilquilemu – a large Spanish era colonial villa southeast of Santiago used for community festivals and currently under restoration by the local university. The garden in Chile was originally planted by a well traveled widow 150 years ago that brought plants from all over the world for her yard. When I visited, the space was a little wild, but that added to the mystery of the place. Araucaria (monkey Puzzle tree, indigenous to Chile) palm and pine shaded the geometric layout of the grounds.
finished Secret Garden Design, 50 by 50 in. watercolor on repurposed wallpaper, Emilia Kallock 2019,. Huilquilemu as well as the two parks in Seattle (Greenlake and Volunteers Park) created by the Olmstead Brothers in the early 1900s inspired greatly my “secret garden” design here. My painting explains the type of trees and plants to comprise the approximately 2 acre garden as well as the surrounding wall plantings and the 4 additional entrances besides the main gate. I chose the trees according to aesthetics and viability in the Pacific Northwest. My grandmothers in Chile and Washington State were both avid gardeners and both planted gardens where they lived, leaving a legacy of a large variety trees, plants and flowers. Many of these are drawn into the secret garden blueprint.
Leading from the heart, and remembering to do so in challenging times. A wish for the health of the forests, and for all animals that they may have access to humane living conditions . Little wish squiggles of other beautiful things. Topaz, olivine, and other precious gems. A friend took pictures of me in recumbent poses for figure guides. A giant nasturtium flower in the background painted with pigment I bought in Vietnam. Tree saplings on either side of the flower, symbolizing hope for the future. I actually watered a bunch of saplings yesterday, so maybe art mimics life or life mimics art-
I drew inspiration for this piece from Gauguin’s “Jacob Wrestling With The Angel” 1888. Overall, it is an image to serve as a meditation guide beginning with an element of gratitude. Gratitude for trees, flowers, love, the Divine Feminine, the Divine Masculine, dancing, fish (salmon), birds and totem animals (seen behind the human figures). Gauguin stated: “Don’t copy nature too much. Art is an abstraction; derive this abstraction from nature while dreaming before it, and think more of the creation which will result (than of the model). This is the only way of mounting toward God – doing as our Divine Master does, create.”
New commission-for dove -variations in placement and for rooster reworked face and legs to express the right attitude. Also ended up having to attach more hardboard to give more space to the image. The client wants a finished, realist painting instead of gestural so there’s more amending to do.
A continued focus on flowers, trees and public parks while I am here in Chile. The following watercolors are observations on the peaceful vibe always felt in the well attended plazas. I also continue fantasizing about park designs which I feel would be like 3-D painting but with living things. The Jacaranda tree and the Bougainvillea vine are currently stealing my heart.
Another set for In the Park series. Early evening at Cal Anderson, the late summer shadows long and an equal number of people walking or lounging. The same two guys were working out proudly and a group towards the left of Cal Anderson 3 assembled to smoke copious amounts of weed and another guy rolled by on a single-wheeled electric skateboard. Later that day a picnic dinner with Nathan at Volunteers Park to watch a theater troupe rehearse The Tempest among the pine trees.
I produced only four live paintings during the Cascadia festival last weekend- three standing from the dance platform at the River Stage looking in various directions, and one of my friend napping in the hot tent at our campsite. There were simply too many fascinating beautiful things to focus on at this world class gathering in the forest. I plan to work of photographs for the next pieces.
Él, watercolor on paper, 47 by 43 in.
Paintings documenting a beautiful get together of people creating and celebrating art.