I took advantage of the early opening of the Dixon gardens this past Saturday morning to go paint there again. I'd been wanting to get back ever since our Urban Sketchers met there last month, and it was thoroughly satisfying. I love the shapes of formal, structured gardens, and the statues mixed in add an element of narrative as well as a different color family.
I never thought of myself as a cherub person, but both at the Peabody and now at Dixon, I find myself drawn to the cherubs holding up basins. They're like junior caryatids. I've painted the bird bath below twice now, and the Peabody fountain three times.
I'm very tempted to go back with my pastels to do more studies (they give me a much greater depth of color and value information). I'm just beginning to think that spending the winter painting formal garden studio pieces could be a lovely way of whiling the cold, dark season away.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.