A Garden for Bees:‘The Bee Garden, Harlow Carr’
For anyone who is a regular visitor to Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK, this original oil painting of the Bee Garden will be instantly familiar, I hope.
With the crunchy shale pathway through a profusion of flowers suitable for our beloved bees, this garden inside a garden is both pretty and educational.
Depending on the time of day, or day of the week, a visitor will find it tranquil, as shown here. At other times it's full of triumphant cries of excitement when something's spotted by eager young eyes.
Harlow Carr Gardens, run by the RHS, is on the edge of the city of Harrogate in Yorkshire. Both keen gardeners, myself and my mum are frequent visitors.
original studio oil painting
- Artwork Size: 41 x 41 cm (16 x 16" ins)
- Medium: oil
- Ground: canvas
- - Sold Out -
The gardens are large, and filled with fantastic perenial borders that have been cleverly planted for interest all year round. It's an artist's paradise, of course.
I've made many sketching trips here, overwhelmed by the richness of the place to begin with. Then I s=began seeing paintings everywhere and I've filled several sketchbooks with ideas for garden art.
How I created this garden painting
After several trips to the garden, a few photographs, and several pencil sketches, I made a small preliminary painting of the composition (Illustrated above).
Then I launched into a finished studio oil painting on canvas. The challenge was the amount of detail needed, while not allowing it to overwhelm the overall impression. It was the first time I'd tackled a garden, so I was on a steep learning curve.
Garden paintings need a different focus and approach to other landscape art.
I've made two other garden paintings since and will no doubt fill‑out the collection as time permits.
As someone who's been brought up by a gardener, I'm a bit of a stickler for getting the plants right. I'm sensitive to their habit of growth and the many subtle differences in green.
Of course knowing too much can work against you, because you get so involved in the detail that you spoil the bigger picture (pun intended).
I'm hoping to work in the garden itself in future. I spent a wonderful summer working in Burton Agnes Hall gardens as you'll see if you check‑out my Plein‑air oil paintings section.
Called 'plein air' painting, working outside in the RHS garden will be challenging with so much richness to capture.
If making art was easy though, I'd have given it up years ago!