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Friday, 17 August 2012


My garden palette

Lesley Beeton

Some of you may know me as the Mad dog woman of Shackleford, but you may not know that I had a life-changing experience last year.  My mother was diagnosed with, and died from, cancer.  She was only 68 years old, too young, and the most upsetting thing was that she felt she hadn't done everything she wanted to in her life.  I left my job as a research scientist to care for her, and discovered another way of life, away from science, exploring my creative needs, becoming re-acquainted with art and photography.

I had always had a tendency to natural themes, and as I set about developing a portfolio, I realised that my garden could be a wonderful palette of colour, form and structure for my art.  At first, I drew from real life, floral still life if you like.  But I found I was too detached from the subject.  Then, I remembered my old point-and-click camera and found that by framing objects through the camera lends, I was engaging more with the subject.  After a couple of months, I bought a pre-loved Canon digital SLR camera.  I'm no camera expert but I love this camera.  The depth of focus it offers means that I can view objects in close-up detail.  This is important for transferring my ideas to canvas.

I have kept a diary of my garden this year, which has included my veggie patch, spring and summer garden, and rainfall (very interesting in this year of drought and deluge)!  This has made it a much more rewarding and engaging project, and as I have been constantly on the look-out for new material for my portfolio, I have felt less guilty about spending those extra few hours a week in the garden.

I am now exploring ways of publicising my work, starting with my blog Unfinished Untitled, and moving into stationery and photographic canvas, as well as design ideas like Fantasy Flowers (below) and working in black and white, which reminds me of looking down a microscope at a specimen.

Many thanks to Jill at Christmas Pie Crafts for hosting my guest post.

Your feedback would be much appreciated.

Thank you,
Lesley x.



  1. Thanks, Jill. Post looks great. Hope you are enjoying your garden today x.

  2. A lovely post, Lesley, thank you. I do like the black and white photograph - very smart.

  3. This is a great post, I love to hear stories of how people use their creativity in difficult times as I belive it helps others to find that spark of hope that creativity brings. Thankyou for sharing

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Hannah. I'm nurturing my creativity spark x.

  4. Another brilliant post Jill.

    I really love your pictures Lesley you are very creative .
    D xxx

    1. Thanks, Dawn. I'm exploring a different world, not just science x.


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