The Owls Secret Garden
by Gill Bustamante BA Fine Art
Oils on canvas
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The Owls Secret Garden is a 48x48x1.5 inches very large oil painting on canvas of a secret garden with wild flowers and a white barn owl flying over a sparkling green lake. It is semi abstract in style and was made by building up many layers of colour and then blurring them with a soft brush to make the paint thick and vibrant and quite intense. It was inspired by a walk I took around some fishing lakes near the Edenbridge area during 2020 lockdown. It was a place normally quite busy but was instead deserted except for birds and animals who had taken over. The green lakes and ponds had wild flowers growing at the edges and these included some sweet peas and wild roses which the flowers are loosely based on. There were shafts of sunlight coming through the woodland and trees around the lakes making the water sparkle. It looked and felt like a secret garden and that feeling is what I tried to capture. The owl was not there but I felt she should have been so I painted her anyway. This is a large canvas and due to the techniques I use there are brush hairs in the paint as well the odd dandelion spore and other summer dust motes which floated in through the attic window as I painted. I personally like this as it captures and holds a bit of summer within the paint forever. The edges of the canvas are white and it is ready to hang.