Ten years ago or so Sharon Rose wrote a book about Minto/Brown Island, our local riverside park of many many acres for bikes, runners, dogs. The bike trails alone are more than nine miles of beautiful riding. Last year she put out a revised edition of the book (with a Carl Hall painting on the cover):
Landscape painter Cynthia Herron is a denizen of Minto and a runner/biker/dog lover and found the book. This summer Cynthia and Sharon met and then got together for coffee and talked about the park. Cynthia is preparing a show of paintings (she’s hoping 25 or 30) and the titles are quotes from Sharon’s book.
Yesterday Sharon and I went out for a cup of tea to Cynthia’s studio (and home) to see the first few paintings and to look at her sketch book. Her method is to take her dog Lucy and her backpack on her bike and ride the park with a quote or two from Sharon in mind. She then stops, sketches, makes notes. In the studio she works only from the sketches and memory–not from photos. Sharon’s book is organized chronologically through the seasons, starting in September. Cynthia had many questions for Sharon about plants and identifications. Sharon is a biologist/botanist and had interesting answers. I was the lucky bystander.
Cynthia lives out in the country on 13 acres in an old house. Her studio and classroom are on the first floor and she and her partner Jay live upstairs:
After a tour of the property we settled in front of the studio fire with our tea and the two “collaborators” began to talk about the park, the plants, the light at certain seasons and times of day:
Here’s Cynthia’s drawing of a growth on a rose plant which Sharon explained was a “rose gall” and that inside each growth was a tiny wasp larvae
And here a plant which Sharon identified as Camas
and this one made Sharon laugh as she herself had been unable to identify the plant though had tried several sources:
And finally the pumpkin patch:
Here are a few of the paintings Cynthia has begun with from the summer:
and here’s my favorite–the one painted yesterday:
We’ve been invited back to check the progress of the series. And here’s just a little post script, a picture of Cynthia’s strawberry patch–an effort to keep the berries away froom all the deer:
and here’s Sharon’s photo of the pumpkin field at Minto taken this morning: