As you walk through the Joyner Gallery at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, it feels like strolling into a garden. Titled Along the Way, the solo exhibit of Susan Garrington’s captivating collection of paintings transports you into a garden of vibrant colours. Her artwork captures the essence of growth, changing seasons, and the resilience of weeds and wildflowers.
Garrington takes inspiration from her childhood experiences. Her father’s stories about the things he noticed outdoors and his observations of the natural world kept the family entertained at the dinner table. His tales taught her to seek magic in the ordinary, and to pay close attention. Her mother’s love for gardening shaped her keen observation skills and deep appreciation for colour, design, shapes and plants. She says she finds joy and wonder in the mundane aspects of our everyday lives.
Garrington describes her work as “botanical fiction.” She works outdoors creating detailed sketches of plants and wildflowers, and says, “My on-location sketches are integral to my process. They inform and underpin everything I paint. They allow me to get to know and to understand my subject.” She then transforms these sketches in her studio, using form, design, colour and patterns to create captivating and uplifting compositions.
Working with watercolour, one of the safest painting mediums with the smallest impact on the environment, she aims to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and restoration, and preserving the environment in which wildflowers and plants thrive.
Her exhibit will be at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre until July 30. Walk through Garrington’s garden and experience the ‘extraordinary beauty of the ordinary,’ and embrace the wonders of nature.