My garden, my canvas

Claire Desjardins sitting in front of her abstract painting, My Tropical Paradise

In the warmer months, I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Not only do I find it brings me joy, but it is also a great source of inspiration for the creative mind. As an artist, my job is to notice the details in life, and try to show my perception of the world around me in my artwork. I have always thought that Mother Nature is the best designer of us all: her intricate repeated patterns, bold color combinations, and interesting shapes all inspire me, and find their way onto my canvas.

Where My Garden Grows, acrylic abstract painting my Claire Desjardins

When I'm not in my studio, I can often be found toiling away in my garden, planting, watering, and helping things grow. I am addicted to the visual beauty, and cannot get enough of it. Designing a garden is as exciting as painting, to me! There's a certain amount of serendipity that goes into it: the materials sometimes do their own unexpected thing, sometimes delighting me, occasionally making me cringe, but always fixable. Both require an element of care and nurturing to reap the reward of watching what you've worked on grow and blossom. I really do think creating is a growing, breathing, evolutionary thing.

Claire Desjardins painting in her Gore studio with her garden in view through the window

In recent years, my husband and I have become snowbirds, which means gardening can be a year-round activity (almost)! Tropical gardening is a completely different experience from gardening in the north. I love the weird plants (the weirder, the better). I'm fascinated by the prickly cacti, the sensual succulents, and the colourful birds of paradise, among many others. All of it is fascinating! Even the destructive oleander caterpillars are a bright orange with dramatic black lashes on their little bodies... They are beautiful and they inspire me.

Garden view from the Florida home of artist Claire Desjardins.

Much of this translates onto my canvas in colourful ways: my love of color is amplified as I find myself surrounded by Buddha Belly Bamboo, striking orchids, and fragrant citrus trees. It's all around me, and I cannot help but put all this fodder somewhere: and so it finds its way onto my canvas!

View of the lake with a dock at artist Claire Desjardins' home.
Cone flowers growing in the garden of artist Claire Desjardins.
Black-eyed Susans in the garden of artist Claire Desjardins.
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Extraordinaire ! J’adore 🥰

Joëlle Garin

Extraordinaire ! J’adore 🥰

Joëlle Garin

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