Night Garden



In the spring of 2020 I threw myself into backyard projects as a distraction from endless zoom meetings and the anxiety caused by all the unknowns associated with being an educator and parent during the Covid-19 pandemic  I found that every time I began to panic about weighing the risks of sending my children to school in-person or thinking about how to teach studio art to high school students remotely, a quick trip to the local plant nursery to pick up a few more plants often consoled me. Digging in the dirt, turning the compost bin, and my nightly ritual of watering each plant provided moments, even hours of clarity and respite from the constant worrying. Picking off Japanese beetles from my sunflowers and spraying foul-smelling rabbit and deer repellent onto my phlox seemed like easy preventative measures to keep the plants safe and thriving and I was comforted by having a simple, easy way of keeping something safe. By summer’s end, the garden was bursting with color and blooms. Our slower schedule allowed for more time to notice all the small changes and growth over time and I found myself drawn to capturing some of these moments of grace and small victories in these gouache paintings. I found the flowers' bright colors shone even brighter when painted on the black paper, a reminder that even in dark times, beauty and wonder can be present.