Written by Panorama resident, Neil Harris. May 2014
Last Summer while “Walking the Loop” Alice F. told me about all the work she was doing on her new pea patch plot. This included a shed that needed a lot of work. She intended to not only spruce up her shed but to add artwork to it. She had an idea for the artwork she envisioned for her shed. She said, “I was looking for a quilt block that would represent something that would tell the value of the pea patch. This star of nutrition said it all to me.”
She then asked if I would be interested in painting a piece also. It took me a moment and I agreed. In the weeks that followed I was thinking about what I would paint and by happenstance a neighbor, Don M., approached me and asked if I wanted a piece of 1/2 inch plywood he wanted to get rid of. The piece was approximately 2 feet by 4 feet. I agreed because I realized that I could use this as a canvas for my painting. I cut the piece of plywood into two pieces 2 feet x 2 feet.
I then began to work out what I would paint. I had a vision of a tree of life with local birds and a colorful abstract background. I wanted the tree to not be the main focus so I kept it simple; however, I wanted the birds to be realistic, local native birds. I had many pictures of local birds which I used as examples. When I finished the painting I presented it to Alice. She then coated the painting with an outdoor polyurethane finish and, with help of her husband Terry, drilled holes in each corner of the painting. It was now ready to be mounted on the shed.
A few weeks ago I noticed the other piece of plywood and asked Alice if she wanted another painting. She readily agreed. About this time I was experimenting with paintings of different botanicals and fruits. I had just finished a sunflower which I did face on, but for the pea patch gallery I wanted something more dramatic. I considered a sunflower that would be sideways or drooping. I decided on the drooping sunflower and after a few preliminary drawings I arrived at the color arrangement.
After I finished the painting I sent Alice a photo of my painting. She liked it and came over and picked it up. I asked her to let me know when the painting was coated and hung up. Alice recently sent me an email that the “pea patch art gallery is open for display”.
The shed is located on the left at the end of the gravel path where it turns right near the perimeter fence.