Friday, June 28, 2013

Inspired by my garden

Judy Coates Perez here

This is the first time I have ever had a garden.

When I lived in Los Angeles I was really good at growing cactus and succulents, but was never very good at the kinds of plants that require any kind of maintenance. Looking back on it I can probably attribute it to being too busy raising small children, and using any available time to make art.

Life is different now, my stresses have changed and I find a tremendous amount of peace and satisfaction nurturing my garden. I'm amazed that not only am I able to keep these plants alive but also see them thrive.

I'm enjoying all aspects of this process; I get excited seeing the first little sprouts, photographing the unfurling, even learning how to install irrigation and finding new homes for wayward creatures.

I love my winged visitors.

Of course my garden and other plants I see give me all kinds of ideas that I want to use for various projects

I've used a few designs to carve stamps to use in my work. 

I'm really worried about the bees. I have seen very few of them in my garden and I've noticed that some of the plants like my cucumber, beefsteak tomato, watermelon and cantaloupe are healthy and growing large but they are not producing fruit and I worry if it's because of the lack of bees.

The vibrant sunflowers, pale pink bougainvillea blossoms, birds and bees have inspired me to paint this week. I have been working with acrylic inks on a large piece of cotton broadcloth. I'm not ready to show the whole thing because it's still a work in progress, but here's a few details.


  1. Isn't gardening the most peaceful & rewarding venture? I love it as well. And I love the WIP above. I am so glad that you are finding this phase of your life so wonderful!

    1. thanks Carol, as you well know, its not all a bed of roses! lol, but I find a lot of pleasure in the simple things in life; good, food, good friends, making art and now tending the garden :-)

  2. great post, judy!!! love what you're working on in your sketchbook and on the cloth. can't wait to see more

  3. Lovely pics Judy. Try finding the female and male flowers, use a cotton bud, and fertilize the female flowers. We have to do this in north Qld with our pumpkins, with fantastic results. Cheers

    1. Thanks Fion, I did grab a paint brush last week and wiggle it around in various tomato flowers ( I don't know how to tell the difference) to see if it would get some tomatos to start growing.

  4. Beautiful, Judy!!! Wish my garden looked like yours.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous. I, too, adore sunflowers. I am also quite worried about the bee population. It is significantly down around here, too. I have two Mason Orchard bee houses in my garden. I think we need to do whatever possible to encourage repopulation. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work!


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