Monday, 15 June 2009

Edges of Hedges!



Browsing through recent photos I'd taken of Moorbank Botanic Garden set me thinking about a recurring 'motif' of subject matter which inspires me: light around the edges of hedges!



I remembered the above painting from 1998, of copperbeeches behind a low hedge at Houghall College, Durham.




Moorbank Botanic Garden has a magnificent copperbeech hedge, rising majestically behind a lower hedge of green. How could one ever have enough of such wonderful subject matter!



The contrast between light and shade, and the complementary colours of yellow-green and purple-red fascinate me, as well as the abstract qualities of the shapes of the hedges.



And the atmosphere ...





Gaps in hedges always intrigue me, as if they are leading somewhere magical.
*
The painting below is of the view I had while living at Houghall College in 1998. The hedges seemed to flow down the slope, accentuating the gateway which led to fields and mysterious woods topped by billowing clouds.


Ten years prior to this I was lucky enough to live in another beautiful location. Deep in the woods grew a circular hedge which had formerly sheltered a rose garden. Now overgrown, it had a wonderful atmosphere, and I was entranced by the light along the edge of the yew hedge.


Do any of you fellow bloggers have a particular feature of the landscape or gardens which has fascinated you over the years?

Ingrid Sylvestre

20 comments:

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Your paintings are beautiful. I don't think I've ever really noticed the light on the edges of hedges before. I'm fascinated by the reflections in water, from puddles to lakes and everything in between. Maybe that's why I love having a pond so much.

Diane C. said...

The lighting looks so beautiful in your photos and paintings. Your blog shows that photos can do more than just convey subject matter, they can be works of art themselves. I'm starting to notice light and shadows more wherever I go, which is fun!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi Phoenix

I like the paintings.

Were they all done by you?

Rob

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Catherine!

You'll probably start noticing the light on hedges now, and I'll be looking at reflections! I've always liked watching raindrops falling into lakes, making little rings in the water.

Phoenix C. said...

Diane, thank you! I am honoured, and glad that my blog is prompting you to notice light and shade. There is so much wonder in our world. For me, taking photos and painting makes me see new things and appreciate shape, form and detail, and the underlying atmosphere of places too.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Rob!

Yes, the paintings were all done by me!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Light makes such a huge difference in the garden. I like the first painting too, is that also by you? The style seems different but I love the colors.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Monica! Yes the first painting is by me too - I used a different watercolour technique with this one, which I love to use for trees and foliage!

Prospero said...

I'm glad that you decided to showcase some of your paintings together with the landscapes that have inspired them. The textures are compelling and the play of light is dazzling.

Regarding fascinating landscapes elements: I'd have to say, for me, that living by the sea has the greatest impact.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Prospero! I've always been interested in the play of light.

The wonderful sea! Living by it must have such an impact of sound and smell and atmosphere as well as visual.

RuneE said...

You are so right. The light coming just like that gives a very special atmosphere that you have captured beautifully. I have caught it myself, but not been as consistently aware of it like you have been here. Now I'll try to be.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you RuneE!

The light is a very important aspect of the atmosphere in these locations, but there is something inherently special about the places themselves, which, in a sense, the light spotlights!

Anna said...

I love the solidity and permanent feel about those hedges. We used to look out at a beautifully contrasting golden robinia and a copper beech until our neighbour (not next door luckily) chopped them down. I was bereft for days !

Phoenix C. said...

I feel bereft too, Anna, when trees and shrubs are cut down. They have such a strong presence.

Barbara Martin said...

Since childhood I have always loved gardens with hedges. I suppose this comes from the garden kept at the Administration Building in Banff townsite (Banff National Park, Alberta), where there was a hedge row with a gap admitting a flagstone path to a gazebo. flower boxes overshadowed with great tall evergreens.

Phoenix C. said...

That sounds lovely, Barbara. Flowerboxes overshadowed with great tall evergreens sounds really atmospheric. I wonder if it is still the same?

lynn'sgarden said...

The photos of these hedges are great, as are your artwork, Phoenix! I especially love your header and keep forgetting to tell you :) One definitely needs time and patience, I think, to creat such beautiful hedges, which is an art in itself.
Lynn

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Lynn! My header is another view from where I lived at Houghall College while lecturing in Art & Design there. The hedges were huge - fortunately they were regularly tended by the College!!

Bim said...

Lovely hedges here! The red and green hedge effect is fantastic, and your paintings are lovely. Your post made me realize how non-systematically I approach a garden...
As for the dangerous moorhens: yes, I'd rather see them on film than on my experiment :)

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Bim!

Do you non-systematically approach a garden? I would have thought I did too, - unless I'm actually gardening in which case I usually start with mowing the lawn!!