From Five Car Garage:
“Flowers Speak to her. For over 25 years Anne Ward has been painting in the great tradition of plein air, inspired by artists like Fairfield Porter and Sorolla. Her focus has intensified for this late summer exhibition "The Garden Portal", when she decided she would grow her own flowers expressly to make paintings. She frequently paints in her garden and has grown plants and herbs as food for many years. During the process of sewing seeds and growing flowers to paint, Ward has been learning about flower remedies, medicinal properties of plants and how to work with nature. As her explorations developed she realized that flowers are not only beautiful, but medicine. This garden portal has been the artist's potent medicine to help Anne reclaim her focus and attention and hear/see/feel and communicate the secret messages of flowers.
"To really stop and observe a flower and smell and see it is a way to harness attention and align to the empowered present moment. For me, connecting to the garden allows me to react less and listen more. It's a way to get quiet and still. It's a way to have reverence for the sacredness of nature that we often take for granted. The more I am in the garden the more I feel I am in touch with true awe and wonder. Painting in a garden has become a devotional practice for me. Connecting to nature and restoring one’s connection to it is a powerful portal. My great hope is that each of these paintings will function as their own portal infused with the resonance of the joy and wonder I find in the yard".
Exhibiting these works at the end of this summers blooms, will reveal the full arc of their growth, with plants grown and painted at specific times and dates. The exhibition will be accompanied with a few trips to the artist's westside garden, with some instruction and information of her discoveries for all who are curious. These images will become the basis of a digital book about a year of observations in the garden.”