After years of visiting The Huntington Library, Museums, and Gardens, I finally became a member, and not just of The Huntington, but of the Gardens Art Guild. This allows me to go to the gardens on Tuesdays, when The Huntington is closed to the general public, to draw and paint. What an honor and what an exciting opportunity!
I decided to begin in the area called the North Vista, a long stretch of green lawn surrounded by garden statuary and ending in a giant fountain. The plan: to draw different parts of the statues that appeal to me and then use these drawings in juxtaposition with drawings from various parts of the garden to create imaginary compositions.
It was deeply soothing to be able to draw without fear of people looking over my shoulder. The sprinklers were running, providing a musical backdrop of falling water and rustling leaves. Tiny hummers flitted about, lizards scudded along the ground, and mockingbirds sang. There was a technologically sensitive mockingbird who had mastered the ring of a cell phone; he was quite proud of this accomplishment and interspersed it regularly in his repertoire. I like The Huntington on Tuesdays, with gardeners moving about; it makes me feel very much at home.
The peace and serenity of this kind of artistic experience is a spiritual balm in the whirl of disturbing world events.