Secret Garden Design

fantasy, flowers, landscape, nature, northwest art, paintings

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.

Mural- Ketchikan, Alaska work in progress

animals, mural, northwest art

For this mural the client was interested in themes of peace, wisdom and regeneration, and wanted birds, so naturally doves, owl and the classic stork were chosen. Because the client is also of French origin I choose the Fleur de Lis as a background, also giving it an emblematic or seal quality we wanted- when experimenting with design ideas I originally took the wings and design layout of the American seal but then we opted for a more Native totem design where bird wings are directly outstretched. Lastly, we added the life ring that compliments the fishing life here in Alaska and added an element of owl as protector/ guardian of regenerative life. The mural is on a large industrial garage door and faces the main highway north of town. I enjoyed bringing art to an unconventional surface where many people may see it.

The Wish Painting, for More Love, Eco-Compassion, Forests, and Flowers

human figure, landscape, northwest art

A large piece, the little heart squiggles are each representative of wonderful wishes and creations, the two figures in receptivity and gracious prayer. A giant nasturtium in the background and giant crystals of all types in the front.


amor, northwest art, short story

It was late summer. The summer the great forests burned throughout the lands North and West. We got in the car after some deliberation, after a sense of unease, after a feeling that the ghosts of the morning may not loosen their grip on the rest of the day, but I got in the car anyway. Bridge (we’ll call him that for all intents and purposes because lately he’s been a bridge between the light and the heavy) really wanted to explore the delta. The river spot had called to him for years. He had always imagined looking across the rail road tracks over where the tall trees grew, where the river called to be explored. I said, “Wow I’ve been thinking the same thing for years also!” which was true.
Now we are walking, on the foot trail atop dike that contained and paralleled the river. We passed an older couple who didn’t engage until I said hi. Bridge looked tall, and good, and confident. Different to whom he had been previous the encounter with the optimistic wise woman. We continued on, seeking to break from the deafening trains and highway noise. This lead us over the decayed rail road bridge, and past the two teenage party spots, and further along the gorgeous river bank. The trail made it’s way through deciduous woods and then a clearing and began to disappear and reappear, to the left and then to the right. We had to duck numerous times under blackberry bushes that caught our hair and our clothes. We continued this way until at last Bridge found a spot where he was content. He was looking at an immense log jam stacked by the currents into a near traversable mass on closest branch of the river.

I laid out my homemade neoprene picnic blanket (the traditional red checkered square pattern) on the bank and we munched on organic chips and carrots as Bridge Google-Earthed the delta. Sure enough, the log jam was against a little island on which he was determined to set foot. I sat in the cool shade and watched the immense volumes of water swirl deceptively slow, sparkling, reflecting dark and quietly. The trees rustled in the cool breeze, and yet still, in this idyllic spot, I could not stop thinking of Lights. (We’ll call him that for all intents and purposes because he still manages to illuminate my thoughts.) I hadn’t seen Lights in years, and we only communicated in a strange pictoral and telepathic way, indescribable because I had never experienced anything like it before.

Bridge began to build a bridge. Precariously jumping between two long fallen trees, across a sizable gap of quiet, fast moving current, Bridge proceeded to balance, carry and throw 70lb plus logs to build a traverse back to the riverbank where I sat. I watched this as if watching a movie, detached and consumed by thoughts of Lights and his sublime influence, and of recent social theories adding beauty and nature to innate human needs. I soon snapped out of it and realized what a fun little adventure it would be to cross Bridge’s bridge, which I did. Then we jumped cautiously from log to log and emulated tightrope walkers across another by holding long branches.   Once on the island, as our footsteps sank into the soft sandy bank, the beauty and privacy of the location began to take hold. I thought how Lights would also cherish this river landscape.   We found a flat sandy spot near the banks with a generous vista down and up river and I laid my head on Bridge’s lap where he massaged my head and helped me focus my thoughts. Allow for receptivity, my mind repeated. Let this day on this riverbank be a gift from paradise, a gift from nature. We were both there at that moment, on a Friday, mid afternoon. We weren’t on a highway. We weren’t at work. We weren’t in our homes. I reached higher, higher, reaching for full receptivity. I quieted my mind and allowed for the gift as day. We took our clothes off, laid down his coat and made love.

Forest Picnic 

Americana, northwest art, painting

Lounging Forest Salmon Picnic, watercolor and pen on paper, 12 by 9 in. Emilia Kallock, 2017

Masculino y Desayuno, watercolor and pen on paper, 9 by 12 in. Emilia Kallock, 2017

Trees Are Not Agricultural Products, watercolor on paper, 12 by 9 in. Emilia Kallock, 2017

Recumbent Bosque Portrait, watercolor on paper, 7 by 10.5 in. Emilia Kallock, 2017

Painting May 2017

northwest art, painting

The Unfortunate Vomit and Diarrhea Figure, oil on canvas, 14 by 12 in. Emilia Kallock 2017The Unfortunate Vomit and Diarrhea Figure, oil on canvas, 14 by 12 in. Emilia Kallock 2017

northwest art, oil, painting, portrait


Portrait with Mirror and Vancouver Skyline, oil and glitter on canvas, 50 by 45 in. Emilia Kallock 2016

human figure, northwest art, painting
Waking, acrylic and glitter on canvas, 84 by 72 in. Emilia Kallock 2016

He Started To Wake Up and Began Respecting Nature After Thousands of Years Asleep, acrylic and glitter on canvas, 84 by 72 in. Emilia Kallock 2016

For the protagonist in this piece I worked from photographs I snapped of my friend Steve, 65, in dramatic poses so that I could narrate the fairly straightforward title:  “He Started To Wake Up and Began Respecting Nature After Thousands of Years Asleep..” 7 ft by 6 ft. acrylic and glitter on canvas.  For me, this painting helps navigate current thoughts on environment and society that can at times be very overwhelming, tragic and debilitating: offering up direction in the fray.

Americana, human figure, nature, northwest art, plein aire

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.

nature, northwest art, oil, paintings

Paintings documenting a beautiful get together of people creating and celebrating art.

animals, Events and Exhibitions, mural, northwest art

Studies of values and composition for upcoming mural.  Which one do you like the best?