Gardens and The Need to Plan

I love to visit gardens, especially this time of year when everything is beginning to bloom. I fantasize about sitting down with a sketchbook and patiently, slowly and carefully drawing each detail of the beautiful flowers.
But I never ever do this.

You might have noticed I have flowers in most of my recent paintings. They're invented and evolve as they appear on the canvas. I don't have a plan, not even what colours I'm going to use. Maybe this is why it takes me so long? ;)
I envy artists who know exactly what they're going to paint, what size, colour, materials and subject matter.
The photo above I took at the weekend at Westbury Court Garden in Wiltshire. This garden is meticulously planned and apparently is the only restored Dutch style water garden in the country. It was originally laid out between 1696 and 1705Now there's planning for you!

I love the detail and orderliness of this drawing of the gardens. It's an engraving by Johannes Kip, made in 1707. Much of the surrounding area has changed today but the water gardens remain. I didn't take a photo of the water! Oh well ;)

I forgot to take a picture of the water but I did notice this enormous tree.

I've no idea the exact date it was planted but it's got to be well over 1,000 years old don't you think?

So getting back to my painting habits, here's the latest work-in-progress.

happening in front of me as I speak,
no idea where it will go,
more flowers?
wings for the hen?
more leaves?
different shaped leaves?
I could go on.....

The hen's getting bored with all this prevaricating. "Finish it!" she cries in despair.

I don't have an answer to that.
Do you?


Gosh that looks so organised...I'd never keep it tidy. Very beautiful though.

Nina x
Carol said…
No, not sure where it should go. Connect the flowers to the jug?
Love that tree, just love trees.
I wish I'd planned my garden better - planned it with creaking knees in mind!
Carol xx
Cameron said…
I think it is more fun to paint without a plan...then you can never "mess" it up or make a mistake :)

That hen is being persnickety...but sure is cute...haha!
Jess said…
It is isn't it? They probably have a team of gardeners. Something that wouldn't go amiss in my garden for a day! ;)
Jess said…
Thanks Carol, I thought about doing stems, I might do that. :)
Jess said…
Thanks Cameron, that's what I usually do but it sometimes it seems to go on forever!
Introverted Art said…
this garden is breathtaking and those flowers? wow
Jess said…
They're so pretty aren't they? Thankyou!x
Martina said…
I just tried to bring some structure in to my wild garden! I like gardens half planned and half wild, for i do love the wild things - also in paintings. I think, if you're one type of artist you can't be the other one. Although i sometimes envy them as well!
Jess said…
You sound the same as me! :)
Sea Angels said…
I'm not so sure about you not having a plan xxx, your beautiful picture somehow has the feel of the topiary gardens raised beds that you liked and photographed, your lovely picture has structure in its beautiful patterns and placements like a seed planting... I think its the gardener in you coming out xxx
Hugs Lynn xxx
Jess said…
Thankyou Lynn, you're very kind!x
Karen said…
Just stopping by via Gennine's and i like what i see :). Very nice paintings!
Merlesworld said…
I love formal gardens to wonder around in but mine is a bit on the wild side, the birds bring in seeds and if they take and I like them I leave them there so their is very little planing.
That tree is amazing I would like that in my garden if I had the room.
Victoria Stitch said…
How funny, I can rarely do a picture without some sort of plan. I imagine also if you are engraving like that picture you posted above you would need to plan it for practicality reasons! I always think it would be nice to jump in and just draw with no plan but somehow it never works for me. It never ends up looking good. Your paintings however are beautiful. not having a plan obviously works for you!
Amazing gardens. AWEsomely beautiful and wise tree! And I LoVe your work in progress!
Jess said…
Thankyou Rosemari, that's so kind of you :)
Introverted Art said…
OMG Jess, I saw the face right away!!! The book is amazing.

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