gardening and painting
Surprises, discoveries, sensory pleasures and room for experimentation...gardening and painting have these things in common. (Oh and hard work, too--sometimes enough to cause an aching back which was my fate over the weekend.) I love the way both tend to wipe away brain chatter and sense of time, and allow one to become lost in creating another world out of form and color. Both are excellent ways to be practice being present in the moment, and to act intuitively and gracefully in response to whatever occurs.
Painting inevitably has a heavier, more serious side...whimsy and spontaneity must be balanced with a strong dose of left-brain activity...resolving the work and making it available to an audience are considerations, and little inner voices bring up criticism and doubt along the way. Deadlines, upcoming exhibits, and gallery requests hover in the air, and add a whiff of anxiety to the studio atmosphere.
Meanwhile, for me anyway, gardening remains lighthearted, playful, private, ephemeral, and full of simple pleasure. This is a photo of the garden that covers the bank just outside my studio door, and at this time of year I often step out, take a few breaths and feast my eyes.