By Ginger Baer, Gilpin County Master Gardener
This is the time of the year that we get flooded with our seed catalogs. Oh, to dream of warm, sunny, gardening weather. Those catalogs do help brighten a grey wintery day. However, when you get through the catalog and make your order, what else can you do?
One of my first paintings
My grandmother and mother were terrific gardeners. They also were really good at using their water colors to capture the plants that they loved so much. I have many of my mother’s paintings in my home. I especially love the floral ones because they are reminders of our gardens and sunny, warm weather.
Two paintings by my mother, Caroline English Stancliff
I have gardened as long as I can remember, but only took up painting six years ago when I retired. To get started I took classes at a community art center. I then bought some lesson books from my teacher to keep me going. I find this to be a great winter-time activity. I am one of those people that needs sunshine and color in the winter. Painting really helps. I highly recommend it!
Two more of mine. See the sunshine?
So how do I manage to paint a picture of a flower or vegetable when the ground is all covered in white? Let’s go back to those seed catalogs. Shepherd’s Seeds has great photos. Botanical Interests has real artsy graphics. If you want to get inspired, pull out one of your catalogs and start thinking of what you love and what would be fun to paint. My mother used to get out the White Flower Farm catalog. Some of the things that I found in her bag were clippings of flowers right out of a catalog. As a matter of fact, I inherited all of her art supplies.
Some of the supplies from my mother
Of course, there are other mediums you can use besides watercolors. I just happened to have water colors given to me. Sometimes they are hard, but I love the softness of them. There are oils, acrylics, pastels, colored pencils, and much more.
I didn’t think I could draw, let alone paint. Those lesson books helped. So did practice, practice, practice. Don’t be shy, give it a try! And then have many happy years of painting things from your garden.
Another of mine. How Colorado is that!
Beginner watercolor techniques -