I am (mentally) overdue for a new art project. Something totally different (this will be in addition to my usual figurative work, not instead of). I am going to start a new series of paintings which will have, I think anyway, a loose expressionist (possibly somewhat abstract) base. I need to shake things up and frankly I need to paint something other than just people. Just to keep things interesting.
So with this in mind, I have bought a bunch of canvas just for this project. The ideas I have are to keep the inspiration for these pieces regional (which for me is the Willamette Valley in Oregon). Whether inspired by nature, historical, buildings, or people (though again not painting people) I am going to let this idea just go where it will. Perhaps nothing will come of it or perhaps it will, we shall see!
For this first body of work I decided to pull my inspiration from the work of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver. They were landscape architects who lived nearby and whose work was throughout the Northwest. They began their work together in 1929 and their influence seems to be throughout the city (and beyond). I love that these women were so influential during their time, a time when it was less common to find women doing this work.
Today I visited one of their more well known and maintained gardens in Salem (Oregon) and took about 100 photographs to bring back and get some ideas from. I won't share all of them with you. Just my favorites. Hope you enjoy!
This first group is from what I would call the natural part of the garden and includes lovely little trails and wild flowers. Also some wonderful moss, lichen, and rotting trees which I love.
Isn't this interesting? Some fungus, lichen, moss, and feathers stuck to a dead tree.
Another decaying tree (sensing a theme here?). I loved the shades of green on this one.
This is the same tree as the prior photo. Looks like this might have been the root system at one point.
Now into the more formal gardens. I love the ironwork.
Isn't this green gorgeous?
One aspect of Lord and Schryver gardens that I love is the formality of the trimmed boxwood and the wildness of the trees. They are allowed to grow as they will and they only seemed to be trimmed for their own health and longevity.
See that mystery pillar hidden in the tree? Curious.
I had to share this as I loved how the light poked through the trellis. Also, that is my little helper in the distance. She was looking for clues of fairies.
From inside that same trellis. I loved the knots in the ivy. My flash went off inside here which I think gave it such an interesting affect.
Are you curious to see what I paint from this? Me too. I'll be starting something later this week (I hope) and will keep updating here with my progress.