Gardens delight me. At their best, in my eyes, they are the hand of man working with nature. This can lead to a lovely dance, filled with unexpected grace notes.
This painting, fresh off the easel, takes us to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. The CBG is a wonderful place to encounter those delightful juxtapositions, because on the one hand it is a thoroughly groomed garden fit for the exacting North Shore, but it is also a research garden focusing on the ecology of this area. As any good garden should, it has water woven through it. In this case the designers used lagoons from the Des Plaines River (if I remember correctly; they are called the Skokie Lagoons). So, a river runs through it, complete with wildlife. That makes for some fun surprises, such as seeing a Night Heron lurking beneath the branches of a weeping cherry about to bloom.
When I composed this painting, I wanted to capture the liveliness of the bird against the stillness of a moment in a garden. I was also thinking of those beautiful Japanese screens~ lovely and minimalist.