Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, CT has an absolutely glorious formal rose garden and the flowers are at their peak right now. I had to go to Bloomfield, just 10 min, north of there today to retrieve some painting from a gallery that is moving, and since this was one of the rare sunny days this month I took the opportunity to do some sketching at the park.
The large green hulking structure is a gazebo that is completely covered with ivy. It looks like an enormous faerie house! With all the arches and the roses in bloom the garden is truly enchanted, and gave me a giddy feeling like a memory from childhood when faeries, elves and gnomes were absolutely real.
When I arrived at the park there was a whole group of painters at this location painting the stone bridge and a number of others scattered throughout the park grounds. At first I regretted not having enough time to actually set up and paint, but truth be told, I really enjoy sketching outdoors. For one thing I find it more relaxing than actually painting and two there's a lot less equipment to carry! These sketches contain a truly spontaneous representation of the scene, fresh and immediate. In many ways I prize them more than my plein air paintings. I suppose because they are truly personal, (they're not for sale), they are mine forever.