Category Archives: Art and Garden

Nose to the Ground

Sometimes it’s the tiniest things that grab my attention. It is not uncommon to find me in the yard or elsewhere, nose to the ground, butt in the air, searching for unusual things to paint.  I always find something down there. Not all of it is inspiring or canvas worthy even if it seems so in that particular moment. This is also the zone where I have found some of the most stimulating ideas for painting.

Purple Inspirations

close up view of a single purple viola flower, nose to the ground surprises

Above: “Little Johnny”, original acrylic by Judy Leila Schafers, 20″ x 16″, circa 2003, sold

I have always been drawn to all things purple, and often have the desire to explore this color and it’s variations again and again.  One spring morning when the light was perfect, I grabbed my camera and headed out to the garden. Stimulating compositions were begging for my camera to capture them. The opportunities for unique inspiration were everywhere! 

Nose to the Ground, Face to Face

As I turned from photographing some gorgeous lichen covered rocks, there he was; a tiny deep purple fellow glowing mightily in the morning sun. I remember having to kneel on the dewy, mulch covered ground with the camera only a couple of inches from his sweet little face. Barely noticing that my knees and elbows were being annoyed by prickly things, I photographed him from every manageable angle. Once the possibilities had been exhausted, it was time to move on with my day. 

Love at Second Sight

The final photos that inspired the painting above, definitely raised my heartbeat as soon as I viewed them. This was during the 35mm film days when you had to wait until the roll was full and had been developed. I remember the moment that this little fellow showed up. There he was, in my stack of newly processed photos. It was love at second sight and he demanded to be portrayed in paint as soon as possible!

Honoring a Tradition

Both my grandmothers grew these little gems in their gardens and they hold a special place in my flower loving heart. Painting this flower might honor them in a small way and at the same time fulfill my ‘purple’ fix. These viola are called ‘Johnny Jump Ups” and have been included in quite a few paintings. 

back-lit deep purple viola and bud with leaves, found while nose to the ground

Above: “Here’s Johnny!” , original acrylic by Judy Leila Schafers, 36″ x 15″, circa 2011, sold

Wow Factor

You may find me shooting copious photos from different angles in quest of the “Wow Factor”. I can often find a few moments to satisfy my quest for something special, no matter the weather and length of my task list. My nose to the ground position can be a bit comical at times but this ongoing search has expanded my mind as to the possibilities of what might constitute a great painting.  Being receptive and curious about what nature will show me has resulted in some fantastic perspectives and nurtured my art evolution. I will keep my nose to the ground occasionally, with the expectation of finding many surprises going forward.

The more you are open to seeing, the more you will notice!

Another Look at What Happened

Jilene hiding behind the camera.

Jilene hiding behind the camera. Photo Thanks to Memory Roth.

A few more photos from the ‘Art And a Country Garden’ 2015.

Beginning one of the demo paintings during the show on Saturday afternoon.

Beginning one of the demo paintings during the show on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Jilene Schafers.

The weather was perfect on Saturday and the place was buzzing!

Young Lady enjoying the garden.

Young Lady enjoying the garden. She happens to love rocks too! Photo by Jilene Schafers

Neighbours and friends!

Neighbours and friends! Photo by Jilene Schafers

My Dad and and his sister and Friend.

My Dad and and his sister and Friend hanging out under the trees. Photo by Jilene Schafers

A lovely visit while listening to Alison play on Friday the 24th.

A lovely visit while listening to Alison play on Friday the 24th. Photo by Jilene Schafers

Alison performing on the studio deck.

Alison performing on the studio deck. Photo by Jilene Schafers

Guests enjoying snacks in the shade garden.

Guests enjoying snacks in the shade garden. Photo by Jilene Schafers

Stephanie and Jack from Innovations Music performing near the studio deck.

Stephanie and Jack from Innovations Music performing near the studio deck. Photo by Jilene Schafers

View coming in from the north side of the yard.

View of the front yard as you enter from the north side. Photo by Jilene Schafers

Shane and good Friends who came to visit.

Shane and good Friends who came to visit. Photo by Jilene Schafers

Look What Happened

Brandon and David playing some tunes near the studio deck

Brandon and David playing some tunes near the studio deck

Here is a brief look at what happened July 17 and 18.
Regardless of the storm, the event went ahead as scheduled Friday July 17, with the exception of one musician. After all, there was all that food!! A few hardy souls came to visit including David and Brandon who brought their guitar and talent to entertain us later in the day. By then the weather was less blustery. They sure added a lot of class to the evening!

However, Saturday turned out to be all that I had hoped for!

The studio was pretty busy all day! This was taken during my painting demonstration.

The studio was pretty busy all day Saturday! This was taken during my painting demonstration.

There were paintings out in the garden as well as in the studio.

There were paintings out in the garden on Saturday as well as in the studio.

The weather was pretty good and the place was buzzing! It was so good to see everyone enjoying the art, food, music and great company! I had never given so many Hugs as I did that day.

Leah Balding performing in the studio.

Leah Balding performing in the studio.

Later, in the afternoon Leah came to sing for us with her lovely voice!

Jack and Steph performing in the front yard on Saturday late afternoon.

Jack and Steph performing in the front yard on Saturday late afternoon.

Saturday evening, Steph and Jack came to entertain us with their lively music!
By the end of the day, there were around 200 who attended the event and many paintings found new homes!!

I hope you can join us Friday July 24. Alison Schole from Busby area will be performing for us from 11 am to 2 pm. There are lots of paintings to see in the studio and garden and the food will be as delicious and colorful as it was last weekend.

My Quirky Garden

My fun birdhouse community. Even the birds love it and have moved in!

My quirky garden has a fun birdhouse community. Even the birds love it and have moved in!

There seems to be a fine line between quirky and junky. It has been a challenge, lately, to give some order to certain elements in the garden. I think a few items may have to be carted away.

This heavy easel has spent a few years outside.

This heavy easel has spent a few years outside.

I wonder which painting should be displayed on this easel amongst the trees? Of course I shall take the painting inside after the show closes each evening. I hope you come to the event July 17 and 18 to see what ends up on this easel.

I call him 'Mossman" Today, I watered him to keep the moss happy. We have not had significant rain in quite a long time.

I call him ‘Mossman” Today, I watered him to keep the moss happy. We have not had significant rain in quite a long time.

There are a few very special original art sculptures in my garden. This is one of them created in clay by Sharon Foster Moore. I have another even more special piece of hers residing near this one.