Here is “Abundance Mindset,” 30″ x 40″.
In this self-portrait, I’m holding a huge mass of flowers and produce harvested from my garden.
I decided to cut the face off halfway, going off the top of the canvas, because I really wanted to put emphasis on that grinning mouth. This is a joyful painting!
All summer long, it’s common for me to walk in the door of my house after working in the garden, with my arms full to bursting with whatever I’ve just harvested. I often say to my family, “Look at what I got from the garden!,” my face taken over by a big smile brought on by the ridiculous size of the harvest. As I fill every inch of counter space with produce, I usually say, “And there’s more!”
(In the reference photo used for this exact smile, I think I was actually holding a massive bunch of purple collard greens. Or maybe it was rosemary.)
My hands are often carrying bunches of flowers or fresh vegetables straight from the heat of the sun in my garden to the kitchen table. There is something about looking at a mountain of produce that’s more than you could eat, that you grew yourself, that makes you feel a particular kind of rich.
This painting is titled “Abundance Mindset” because this is what gardeners are about. We want to feed everybody. We want to give delicious gifts. We share gardening tips, secrets and seeds, and we all feel delighted to see one another’s triumphs.
Gardeners love to have a bumper crop, where we have so much of something that it’s too much to even deal with and we have no choice but to share some with others. This most often happens with zucchini.
All of the flowers and food pictured here were grown in my garden!
My globe artichokes are huge and showy. I usually harvest some to eat, then let the rest of them go to bloom for the pollinators, and for the show. Google pictures of artichoke flowers opened all the way up, if you’ve never seen one before!
A particular favorite every year is my elephant garlic. Some of these bulbs can grow as big as a softball!
Also shown in this dramatic bouquet are the garlic scapes taken from the same plant, the slim, elegant stems of the garlic plant, which I like to chop up and add to whatever I’m cooking. They have a milder taste than the garlic cloves, so you can use a lot of them.
And of course, to me, summer is all about watching the flowers bloom. Perfumed roses…
Gladioli…and sunflowers! The bounty is sometimes overwhelming.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges and failures. (I lost a lot to slugs this year.) But the failures aren’t a big deal, because there’s always something else that does well, and you can always try again.
It takes a bit of audacity to plan a garden, to plant seeds in the belief that, of course, something good will grow. This is made possible by an abundance mindset. It means saying,” I’ll just go ahead and plant a lot of stuff, and I don’t have to worry about anything because I know good things are coming, one way or another.”
Every winter, gardeners start dreaming about how we’re going to prep our beds for the spring. We dream of compost and of planting new varieties of vegetables, and of watching little green shoots pop up out of the cold dirt. We find security in the knowledge that no matter what, every spring brings a new chance to grow something.
There will always be more! And it’s the same thing with making art. Go to the studio, think, work, do your best, believe it’s enough, and there will always be more art.
I could not resist taking this cheesy photo!
The time lapse painting video of this one is really cool to watch.