May 16th, 2015

A Morning Away “en Plein Air”

Patti Bartol, en plein air artist and instructor

Patti Bartol, en plein air artist and instructor.

The phone! The bills! The kids! When life’s stresses have you ready to lose it, why not take a moment to step away from it all and into an oasis of tranquility?

Corny? Yes.

True? Yes.

Life can be overwhelming. What better than to take a few moments of the day to connect with beauty and nature? And what better place than Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden?

Not quite as dramatic as stated above, but that’s almost what Patti Bartol told me as I approached her as she sat quietly painting a lovely watercolor in the dappled shade of  Flagler Garden. Her mind was at ease as her brush rhythmically dipped in water, then paint, and finally washed onto paper with stunning results. She was capturing the serenity of the dogwoods against azaleas with mottled light.

Patti Bartol captures the beauty of the Garden with her paints.

Patti Bartol captures the beauty of the Garden with her paints.

Bartol, en plein air artist and art instructor, explained to me she took the morning off from life’s stresses as a getaway — to relax and do something she loves. What a better way to rejuvenate than to take a mini vacation away and visit the Garden. Take a stroll through the Asian Valley, climb the CWD Kids Tree House, sit surrounded by the sweet scent of orchids in the Conservatory, or reflect on spring’s glorious beauty from the Lotus Bridge. The Garden has much to offer, spaces perfectly designed for peace and meditation. And finally, walk away with a lesson we all could learn: To practice restoring the spirit through a connection with the quiet, simple splendors of nature around us doing something we love.

M. Christine Watson is PR & Marketing Intern at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. She has a great interest in gardening with a background in graphic design, photography and experimental art. When she isn't in her studio or garden, she can be found in the kitchen experimenting in culinary art, using many of the herbs and edible plants she grows.

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