Tea in the Garden – An Art Card adventure!

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Blog, watercolours | No Comments
Tea in the Garden by Summer Robertson

Tea in the Garden by Summer Robertson

I just had to share my good news! I was selected by artist Summer Robertson to be the subject of one of her wonderful “Once Upon a Pear” art card series. For the first time, Summer agreed to reveal her creative process by talking about the painting as it evolved. She recorded it on her Facebook page and granted me permission to share it on mine. Without further ado, here is how it all unfolded

Starting with the letter “G” for Grigor, Summer explains how her creative process began:

“Each of these pear cards is designed with a particular woman in mind. Peggy, the lady that this card is to be named for, asked if she could post the progress on her facebook page. I agreed and she allowed me to explain what and why I do what I do, using her name as an example!

Starting with the letter "G"

Starting with the letter “G”

“The cursive letter G in the background is the letter of her last name. She has faithfully sold my pear cards in her The Pottery Store for a few years now. Her husband has done my graphic design for Smiles for Children, my not-for-profit society that donates my art booklets to children at home and around the world. A percentage of my profits from the pear cards goes to fund Smiles for Children. It is a happy marriage!”

The second step was to introduce the Teapot. Listen as Summer Explains:

“Since Peggy is an accomplished potter, I wanted to include pottery in her pear painting. To keep the pear motif I have created a pear tea pot, honey pot and creamer. They are as close to pears as I could get! The florals on the pottery are just the background for what is to come next. I have a vague idea but I’m not quite sure yet! I’ll try to post the next step by the end of the week.”

Linking our connection - potter and painter.

Linking our connection – potter and painter.

As the painting progresses, we see the teapot enhanced. Summer likes to work for a few hours at a time, then study the painting on her easel for several days before she takes the next step. At this point in the painting, Summer invites feedback from her friends and other artists.

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Comments were made about the disappearance of the “G”. I just loved that Summer exposed herself to listen to her ‘wise women’ friends and fellow artists. It is a rare person who allows such vulnerability, giving you some insight into my friend’s open, loving spirit!

Following direction from her peers, the “G” was re- worked. Here’s what Summer posted:

“So, last week I said the painting was finished. Then I received emails from 2 artists that I really admire. They both said I’d lost the ‘G’ and suggested I might want to bring it back. One also said that the flowers didn’t have enough life and that made the painting flat. That opinion was re-enforced by another friend who said it had looked a bit like wallpaper before the new ‘finished’ version was revealed. I appreciate the comments that allow me to grow further as an artist!

G stands for "Garden" as well as "Grigor"

G stands for “Garden” as well as “Grigor”

“I had thought it was finished but I also knew it wasn’t. I had no idea what it needed though. I’ve since spent another 4+ hours on it. Once the G was restored the rest of the painting was out of balance and so it became a game of push and pull to get to this point. I can honestly say it is finished now!

Interestingly enough, the G could stand for “Garden” in Tea In The Garden as well as Peggy’s last name. That was cool!”

Next, Summer posted the final painting as seen at the top of this post. It is worth noting that all the images you see here were copied by me from Facebook and do not depict the true colours of the painting. That’s where Brad comes in. Summer will have him scan the original paintings for prosperity’s sake. Thus, Tea in the Garden becomes a shining example of how friendships and colleages support each other’s strengths, skills and opinions.

When Summer delivered her new cards to me today, she told me she had scanned a photograph of one of my teapots to use as a guide to balance the handle and spout. I was pretty proud that when seen from someone else’s eyes, my teapots do indeed have wonderful balance and functionality. Teapots are one of the most complex of all pottery forms and each aspect – spout, lid, handle, weight and balance – all have to be carefully considered during construction. Summer’s painting demonstrate that my design works. I have never made a teapot in a true pear shape, but I have promised her I am going to do just that! And so we continue to inspire each other – isn’t friendship wonderful?

We have Summer’s complete selection of Art Cards in The Pottery Store and we love supporting her “Smiles for Children” Education Society. I hope you have enjoyed watching Summer create as much as I have. Summer, I will always treasure my “Tea in the Garden” painting as much as I will always treasure our friendship. Thanks so much for being part of my life!


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