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Happy Gardens second picture so much better than reality

After I had done the first Happy Gardens painting I wanted to quickly get on with the second one, since I was so upbeat with inspiration and thought about which subject matter was the best to do for it and remembered with great fondness about the dark pink cherry tree by the pond I’d created at my last house. I always loved that deep pink blossom of the cherry tree, and had also loved that pond. The only problem was that the photos I had of it never fully achieved what it should have looked like when it was first planned and created in all the years I lived there.

Then it struck me what I should do, I would paint how it SHOULD have looked, in my memory, in the version of how it made me feel, rather than the photos of how it appeared in any photo I had! 

I looked through my photos and found the best one that showed the tree in its glory, but that was a day when the pond looked murky, as ponds often do when the very fine balance of sunlight, rain, fish, filtering system, pond plants, and temperature all conspire not to look like the beautiful clear pond it ought to do (which is most of the time in my experience!!).

Ok I thought, I’ll use the tree, and improve on it, and take away all the clutter of garden furniture, and pot plants,  under it, and even take out the raised wood edging and make the pond look how it should have done. Because this picture was about the cherry tree and the fish pond, and I’ll use my artistic licence to make my happy version of it.

I also wanted the fish in it, since they were very important, particularly for the title I had in mind.

So, here is the photo I used, and here is the painting I created from it. You can see that its a got more full foliage in the cherry blossom, its got far less clutter around the base of the tree. I added more lily pads and the rushes at the side to give more of a feel of pond plants, and also added nicer iris type leaves on the right hand side that curved far more elegantly and looked a lot better than the clumps of marsh marigolds that were there, and I added the lovely deep dark turquoise of the water with the hints of the pond weed below and the gold fish gathering waiting to be fed, the reflections of the clear blue summery sky above. I also scattered a few of the blossom petals below the tree, because it always makes me happy to see cherry blossoms on the ground..

And then it was finished.

The painting is called “Gathering the gold” and is painted in acrylics on canvas measuring 16 x 10.5 inches.

Far, far better than my photo. But, far more like my memory of that pond, and the happy rememberance of quietly sitting by it and feeding the gold fish.