I've made a few visits to Natasha's garden, in the past week; the weather's that bit warmer and brighter, the sea that much flatter...
Anyway, it has been a case of driving over, hoping the weather holds long enough to produce a bit of work.
Natasha walked me round, despairing at the lack of growth, the cold, and the unusually icy North wind, which has done some damage.
I can empathise with Natasha, now she is committed to opening her garden, to the public, on the 15th of June- she has become an artist with an exhibition pending:
In her mind, the critics arrive, clipboards in hands, casting hostile glances at any perceived imperfection, all the elements out of the control of the gardener, having done their worst.
I would fret about having enough new work to satisfy returning visitors, worry a new style or theme wouldn't be well-received, or just pain worry no one would turn up.
Natasha has a picture already in her mind; she paints with plants, imagining species complimenting and contrasting, ruthlessly pruning back the out-of-place or the ailing specimen.
She chooses her palette, composes, plays with form, colour and light.
Her canvas is enormous, 3 dimensional and apt to get horrendously soggy, or dry as a bone.
My materials, at least, will go in the back of my car.
I'm glad to say I haven't lost the pleasure of sitting sketching in this garden because an exhibition is planned around the work; I spent lovely summer days, last year, away from the self-imposed pressures working to exhibition, being free of thinking a work must be completed to hang on a wall.
I had a little holiday, and that feeling is still with me, surrounded, as I am, up in that garden, by the plants, the sights and sounds of wild birds, and an occasional visit, by a red squirrel.
Natasha is committed to her garden vision, probably alot more focussed, on the one project, than I- I'm sure visitors will delight in her creation, and I delight in my privileged visits, behind the scenes!