My grandmother was a gardener and she loved her flowers. She loved her garden so much that when we wrapped up our visits with her, we could not leave until we looked at her plants. She would take us to the various flower beds and tell us all about her flowers and whatever else she was growing.
On the corner of her lot was a large hydrangea bush. It was a group of three plants that allowed us grandkids to pass through it or hide in it. We played in her hydrangea bushes often. One time, I remember vividly, we broke off the large flower heads from the bush and put them in a rattan chair that my grandmother had and made it into a throne. We took turns sitting on that magnificent throne of hydrangea blooms.
I don’t remember my grandmother scolding us for breaking off her flowers. She was rather indulgent of all of her grandchildren. I think she thought everything we did was wonderful or at least that’s how she made me feel.
I do believe it was my grandmother’s stories about her flowers, her gardens, and that hydrangea bush that made me fall in love with gardening. I’m not a professional gardener or do I garden much anymore. I’m a visitor to gardens; public places, people gardens along the bike paths in our city or parks. I find that a walk in a garden to be the perfect medicine for just about anything. Gardens restore my soul.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that one of the very first stories in the Bible is about walking in a garden so beautiful and peaceful, but there’s something deep inside of us that longs for that place even now. Our earthly gardens are the next best thing, at least my grandmother’s garden was.
My fascination with Hydrangea
Whenever I think of the hydrangea bloom, I think of the Victorian age. Hydrangea was an essential component of a Victorian garden. Maybe one of the reasons that my grandmother had them in her yard was that she was born in 1895 at the tail end of the Victorian period. Maybe she just believed you didn’t really have a garden unless you grew Hydrangea.
When I study the intricacies of the flowering head of the plant, I notice that there were feathery delicate flowers. When I paint the hydrangea, I get very caught up in the detail, which is not my normal style of painting. I typically simplify my subject as I attempt to bring them to life, but with this flower, I take my time, trying to capture as much detail as I can. As I paint, I let the colors bleed in the leaves because that is what I see when I look at the individual pedals. They go from light to dark purple or maybe green to purple. Those are the color of blooms I’m most familiar with.
The series of watercolor hydrangeas I started recently came after I purposely searched for photographs of all the varying colors of blooms. I went to my favorite local garden center to photograph them too.
Dallas, where I live, is not the best place to grow Hydrangea. The plant is better suited for up North in a cooler climate. Hydrangea also needs an acidic soil, which we don’t have in the area. Still, you are able to find them in the garden centers in town. I’m sure if you’re an attentive gardener you can make them bloom here.
My first set of Hydrangea watercolor paintings. I will be adding six new paintings to the original three above.
New Watercolor Hydrangea Paintings Available in September
The Hydrangea Collection was created in spring 2020 and will be available in September. There are six new paintings in the series, which will be available for sale. All the paintings are can be purchased as prints and cards. I have found a Texas Fine-Art Print Shop that meets the standards that I have for prints and am able to offer larger size prints.
As a print designer who works in this industry, I won’t offer prints much larger than the size of the original painting. Although the scans I produce would allow for it, my sensibility as an artist and designer won’t. I want the prints to look as true to life as possible. I am excited to be able to expand what I have to offer to help you display the art prints you purchase from me.
For the Hydrangea Collection, along with the original watercolors, prints and cards, I am also creating seven different products to be made available on Zazzle, The paintings make beautiful gift and household goods. Look forward to seeing mugs, pillows, tote bags, tea towels, puzzles, mouse pads and phone cases in the near future.
Thank you for your interest in my art. If you love Hydrangea and want to learn more about them here are some resources listed below. Be Inspired!
Some serious inspiration from Southern Living.
My Garden Exploring Bucket List
The North American Hydrangea Test Garden at Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street Sandwich, MA 02563-2147
The Hydrangea Garden at the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, 5130 Headland Ave. Dothan AL 36303
Hydrangea Garden at the Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN 38117