This week in the garden of isolation…


Glorious summer arrived in the garden this week, adding the rich, flame red of the asiatic lilies to the myriad of foliage greens, pale baby pink, yellow and peach of the various rose bushes.


Out came the paints and a large, canvas square in the hopes of capturing the vibrancy of colour and the structural beauty of the fiery lily bloom. Matching nature’s colours is the artist’s tricky task when deciding to capture the variety of flowers in the garden and it was no surprise to discover just how many shades of red and orange were present on really close observation.

Creating the backdrop

Cobalt blue summer background to lily shape

Despite the intense sun of the afternoon in the garden, a dappled light was falling through the trees above on the monochrome background – capturing the dabs of light created an unexpected interest in the background to the sketched out flower head. The decision to create two canvases in contrasting ‘settings’ emerged…I felt the need to paint one in the ‘usual’ setting – against the heat and intensity of the summer sky, but the other had to be set against a colour-drained, light-dappled, somewhat surreal background which kind of reflected my afternoon isolation mood. Drained.

Greys, fading shapes colourless foliage

Hot Orange and flaming reds

Working from the centre of this structurally incredible flower head, the open petals display their intense, insect-attracting beauty mixing bright cadmium yellow strokes over crimson, vermillion and scarlet tones for such dramatic effect…

Beauty of flaming lily flower against blue summer sky
Ferocious  reds and crimsons combine to reveal texture of petals of Asia lily
Oranges an red tones depicting asiatic lily petals and flower centre

Completed colour creations

Lily, head in summer.
Lily, head in isolation.

Why the mood change? Is it safe?

Wondering where this is leading, where my mood is going… isolation began in the spring as the garden filled with green serenity and a strange calm spread over our world. We stopped. We sat. We reflected. I painted my strange new world, my sanctuary and I was content. Two and a half months later, with a horrific numbers of deaths, this virus is still spreading through our land yet we are told ‘lockdown can be eased’. Our beloved south-west that we protected by obeying the rules, is now invaded by idiots who cannot see their folly, who troop to our beaches and contaminate our beautiful counties with their selfish desires. I now sit in my isolation, more worried than ever for my health, for my family and my neighbours. Despite the glorious colours of summer, a grey gloom hovers around my mood. I busy myself with community projects, helping others, filling my days with art, colour and try desperately to remain positive. We will beat this. We will survive because we followed the rules. Yet each weekend I dread the influx of those who will those infiltrate our south-west sanctuary. I selfishly say to those who bring with them the modern day ‘peste’, please stay away. Please leave us be and we might have a fighting chance of retaining our health. Please…

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