Linnie Aikens Arts and Letters • HeART Haven Studios

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After painting “Blue Garden Dawn,” I set out on painting a number of paintings inspired by Lotusland…more my interpretation than artistically rendered replicas. Again, I love color, and the exotic plants and fantasy layout of the garden lent itself to Fauvism in my eyes. (Read my post of “Blue Garden Dawn” for more background.)

The yellow painting is called “Under the Dragon Trees” (18″x24″ oil on gallery-wrapped canvas). When you walk under these prehistoric-looking trees and look up at the sun, they appear like silhouetted stars against the sunlit sky. The rest of the larger-than-life plants seem to glow in this light, as if due to sun flares. This painting is more or less a collage of plants from orchids to stag ferns to black bamboo and fan aloes, the patterned path reflecting their many colors and leading to a giant clam shell fountain. I am but a small firefly lured through this whimsical world of line and color. (This is actually the first time I’ve tried to convey my thought process while I painted this.)


The second painting enters the garden at twilight through the lotus pond, where the aloes, lotus flowers and abalone shells that line the pool seem larger than life, so enthralled by them was I. The ambient moonlight picks up the whites and gives them an unearthly glow as contrast to the swampy green of the pond. “Pink Lotus Twilight” (24″x18″ oil on gallery-wrapped canvas)


The third, “Afternoon Glow” (18″x24″ oil on gallery-wrapped canvas) features the lush Japanese garden within the garden of Lotusland. There is nothing so fascinating as the play of light and color on water. I obviously was particularly taken with the purple magnolia, which takes center stage. Some days I love this painting and other days I don’t. Pink is not my favorite color, but no other color would do for this painting.


Like most of the Fauvists of 1905–1910, they played around with impressionism and expressionism and my paintings in these exploratory series incorporates them all in places.

This last painting in this series, “Koi Pond Sunset” is another foray into exaggerated color to communicate the almost too-bright-to-be-true sunset I was experiencing. A sunset is inherently an illusive subject to paint or photograph. Even the very best photo or painting is a paltry second to the awe inspiring majesty of a sunset. Here, my koi pond is dropped into a more natural setting, offset by the almost vibrating color of the sunset and its reflection on the water. The intense chroma of the orange throws the rest into almost moodiness, which I sort of am intrigued by. Again, sometimes I love it, and sometimes I want to just frisbee it into the trash!


I welcome your thoughts and impressions.  Feel free to contact me through my email. ~Linnie



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