I spent the day working in my garden. I like to think that it has hints of a proper English garden.  It is the end of the season, and everything is in wild disarray.  It is the last burst of color before it all goes quiet for the winter.

My garden in autumn

My Beloved Brit wanted roses in our garden.  They remind him of England.  This variety is “Don Juan”, a climbing rose that blooms all through the summer and in to fall.

The last rose?

I know it is the end of summer when the white hydrangea blossoms turn purple and green.  I pick a big bouquet and put them in my favorite blue and white vase in my studio at this time of year. They slowly dry and last the winter. It keeps me hopeful that spring will come again.

The sage has gone wild this year and covers the garden path.

I love gardening. It is everything that I am most comfortable with…color, flow and composition.

I think gardening is just one of the many reasons that I have always felt a strong connection to England.  Residents of the UK take their gardens very seriously. It’s a personal point of pride, and no matter how large or small the outdoor space, you will probably find a garden tucked in. The gardens there are everywhere, and everyone has a lovely story about theirs.  Is it all the rain?  Everything is always so green and lush.

A small house garden in the village of Ashford-in-the-water

Maybe I should get a gnome?

A dear friend of ours in England has a small fisherman’s cottage where we have stayed while MBB was racing.  In the back courtyard she has the loveliest garden, and this particular summer it had the tallest sunflower I had ever seen. I believe it was involved in a friendly competition between neighbors.

Jo's garden, Burnham-on-Crouch

The next summer I saw a field of sunflowers near a farm market in the Hamptons on eastern Long Island while we were on holiday.  I couldn’t resist, and a series of conte crayon drawings was born.

It always amazes me how images stick in my brain, and float and tumble and fall out after many days (or even months) on to paper or canvas.

The studio wall

That sunflower in that English Garden on a far coast kept popping up when I thought of things to explore in my art.  Who would have thought the seed from that garden would transform into a field of sunflowers and be one of the first works on paper series that I had tried in ages.

I post all of my work on my personal art website, or you can visit the website for Gallery 50 where my “Sunflower Fields I-IV” are displayed. Gallery 50 is a tremendous gallery run by Jay Pastore in the ocean side town near Washington, DC, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA. If you get a chance, go by and see him and his gallery that never disappoints for its quality of art and its diversity of styles. Thank you Jay.