What I have Learned from Gardening


Over the years of having a ‘yard’, I have resisted the desire to garden. Most of our property has been large areas of wild natural vegetation. I spent many a day wondering the forests and bush discovering the beauty in all species of plants and animals. Nature can be overwhelming and there is no taming it. However, I did find that I could control small plots and large pots close to the house. In these I would sow wild flowers suited to our zone. With a few successes, the next year I would plant more of the same. This has gone on for about the last six years. Last year in particular, I have gotten pulled into wanting more color around. Then, this growing season I find myself spending more time nurturing that color. Now I realize how I have actually learned what it takes to see results.

Mostly you need planning, patience, persistence, and stamina. You must see the parallel here already to creating a work of art. Still not an avid gardener by any means, gardening does jump start my day. I can transition into the studio easier without much procrastination. So, I leave the gardening and move on to the stages of creating.

Planning is a must; how can you start without a plan? Without a plan there is chaos.

“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” Michelangelo

Patience really is a virtue. Have patience with yourself. It takes a lot of time and practice, practice, practice. It is a life-time of learning.

“There's no retirement for an artist, it's your way of living so there's no end to it.” Henry Moore

Persistence to stick with your plan and focus on the message you want to convey. Even when the piece is not looking quite right, figure out what it is that is not working. Weed out the culprits. Consult your check list and fix the problem.

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.” Michelangelo



Stamina especially with plain air. You need to be out there in all kinds of conditions if you are waiting to capture the mood. Sometimes requiring multiple trips back to the same location figuring out what time of day and repeating the visit for that fleeting moment. Stamina wains at times in all creating. Know your limits and listen to your body to take care of your health.

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” Leonardo da Vinci



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