Artists and Their Gardens: Beauty, Creativity, Sanctuary

Hi friends! 

This is what it's looking like around here these days:

snowy outdoor scene with trees

So you know I've got all my gardening books out, dreaming of the warmer, more colorful days that are just around the corner!

I'm so excited to share this post with you because I've gathered some friends here whose art AND gardens inspire me so much. Two of my most favorite things.

Here we go!

Anne Butera

I’ve been a gardener for much longer than I’ve been an artist. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. As a child I was both an artist and a gardener. We create so easily when we’re children, don’t we? My mom is a gardener and so I developed a love of plants beside her while she tended her garden and houseplants. As I grew up, although I became discouraged and forgot how to be an artist, I never stopped growing things. I’ve gardened on the windowsills of my dorm rooms and apartments, on fire escapes and rooftops and in a community garden plot. When we bought our first house and I finally had my own garden in my own backyard, it felt like paradise. For many years my garden was the outlet for my creativity, but eventually I came back to art and began teaching myself watercolor, too. It was only natural to turn to my garden for inspiration.

I’ve been gardening in my current space for 10 years. My backyard is enclosed by a privacy fence and truly feels like a secret garden. It measures about 55 feet wide by 39 feet deep (with part of the garage jutting into the space). When we moved in there was nothing here and over time I slowly added more and more beds and paths and patios. 
As a botanical watercolor painter I’m directly inspired by my garden. I paint what I grow and grow what I want to paint. This summer I moved my studio to a room overlooking my garden. I'll be replacing one of its windows with a door so I can step out into my garden from my studio, blurring the lines between my two creative spaces.
My garden is also my sanctuary. I always feel better surrounded by plants and flowers. I’m amazed by the diversity of wildlife, the tiny ecosystems, thriving in this space. Being able to witness it brings me so much joy. And there’s nothing like filling a basket with veggies and herbs and greens and eating dinner from the garden.

Anne's website

Anne's blog

Anne's newsletter 

Anne's garden Checkout these videos! Total eye candy.


Becky Dawson

I run a full time art business, and I’m a stay at home mom to two kids. My life is very full, and sometimes it’s hard to carve out time for anything other than work and family!

My yard and garden are my hobby. My ongoing personal art project. My sanctuary. I’ve come across a lot of life lessons I need to be reminded of, while working in the garden. It forces me to be patient, which is something I struggle with otherwise. I’ve also let go of the need to be perfect. I find so much more beauty and joy in the looseness of it all.

Becky's website

Becky's Gallery & Gift Shop

Becky's Instagram

Becky's newsletter

Laura Bray

The Garden as Muse

My garden’s ability to inspire my creativity is as ever changing as my creative pursuits.

When I was working as a professional craft designer, my garden provided me with opportunities to create beautiful plant markers, and outdoor pillows.
When I paint watercolors, my garden’s flowers were my models.

When I work on my textile art, I use my garden’s plants to create natural dyes for my floss.

When I bake, I go into my garden and look for ways to incorporate my herbs and flowers into my cookies and cakes.
When I write about my life in personal essays, I often turn to my garden to find metaphors and similes to help me make my point.
Now, as I attempt to write fiction, I turn to my garden again. Currently, one of my characters has a beautiful garden, complete with a greenhouse (lucky girl!) so I pour over my gardening books and go into into my garden to cut flowers and make floral arrangements so I can describe the creations in the book.
I have no idea where my garden will lead my creativity next, but I plan to keep digging and see what blooms next.

Laura Bray is a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest. She’s currently working on her first fiction book and believes the best heroines are over 50. If you like to read, garden, and bake, visit her blog here.

Laly Mille

The past few days have really felt like spring, what a joy to spend plenty of time outside (without a coat! in February!). Walking, gardening, listening to the birds, watching the first butterflies, spotting the pretty heads of primulas and daffodils, removing dead branches from the ground... It all fuels my soul. Yesterday I discovered the gigantic stems of some wild roses rambling in the grass. I put on my gloves, ready to put up a good fight (those thorns!!) and managed to train them along an old stone wall so they can soon bloom in pretty pink pompoms. I felt like a gardening warrior and was pretty proud of myself!

Being an artist, I often get asked which of the "masters" I look up to, which one inspires me the most. Well, to me it's definitely Nature! She's the ultimate artist and I see proof of it every time I put on my wellies and step outside the door. Connecting to nature is my inspiration and my therapy. It soothes my sensitive soul and clears my over-busy mind, making space for new dreams and ideas. Then when I come back to the studio, it all ripples out onto the canvas or in my art journal.

I love to grow and paint flowers. I find them to be the most forgiving and satisfying subject (as long as you're not trying to make them realistic!). Roses especially. In the garden they do demand quite a bit of work, and painting them is often quicker and easier! Both are worth it though, and whether it's a painting or a fresh bouquet, I love to bring the joy of nature inside.

In a few months our little family will be downsizing and moving closer to the city, so I will say goodbye to our current huge and gorgeous garden, goodbye to all the blooms my husband and I have planted and cared for. But I so look forward to starting anew in a smaller space, where there will be less of the hard maintenance work to do, and more of the simple joy of planting and growing close to the house, little pockets of color and beauty here and there, maybe a few pots too... No matter the size, a garden is a gift and a joy!

Join Laly's creative world 

I love this blog post! Go behind the scenes of Laly's garden photoshoot

Laly's Instagram 

Laly's online classes: Paint flowers with me!  Wild Roses  and Flower Flow 

    Lori Roberts (that's me!)

    I love an unruly, wild, colorful, overflowing garden. One that joyfully fills and surpasses the bounds of its structure. I plant methodically, yet with a bit of wild abandon, and I love watching how everything mingles and grows together. The entire process brings me joy, the experimentation, the anticipation, the informality, the impermanence, the constant ebb and flow of the seasons, and the constant interplay of color, flower, and bee. Gardening teaches me patience and flexibility. And it nurtures my need to create beyond the studio. As an artist I rarely use pinks and purples in my work but love those colors in the garden. And like my paintings, I enjoy bringing a sense of whimsy and humor to the garden. I'm always looking for fun sculptures, hand painted signs, rusty salvaged materials, and other works of art to bring my garden to life.

    Thank you for reading! Are you are gardener? Are you an artist? How does your garden amplify your creativity?

    Get your free printable garden planner here.

    You can read more about the garden planner and how I use it here


    • Marie

      Where does the time go?! For me it’s rushing by like a freight train! I read this beautiful and amazing blog post when it first arrived. There was every intention to respond…here we are a month out! What?! Thank you Lori for the time and attention and love you give every time you share.
      I’ve easily read this post three or four times. The photos are stunning, as always. And these amazing fellow female artists and gardeners feel like new ‘old’ friends already.
      Keep on keeping on Lori! You are a joy!!
      Little Truths Studio replied:
      Gosh this is such a nice comment! Thank you so much for reading. I have to say I re-read this post too just to take in their beautiful gardens, I am so ready for flower season! Thank you again for stopping by, I appreciate your attention and kind words. :)

    • KarenLR

      What a delightful blog post Lori! Anne is an old and dear blogging friend, Laura is a newer internet pal. I’m so glad to “meet” Becky and Laly. Thank you for introducing them to me.
      We just got 17" of fresh snow here on the hill, so these photos are a sight for sore eyes. The snow will melt soon, as all March snow does, and then the snowdrops will cheer me up. Take care. xo
      Little Truths Studio replied:
      Hi Karen! Happy to see your name here! Thanks for stopping by. :) 17 inches, holy cow! I wish I could grow snow drops, I planted a gazillion of them and only one came up! I love them so much.

    • Karin Kersteter

      What an incredible post! I love seeing people’s gardens! I am also a gardener, with a focus on wildlife gardening and native plants. My yarden is a certified wildlife garden and inspires me year round! I like the idea of painting my garden….I haven’t really done that yet. I will have to give it a try!
      Little Truths Studio replied:
      Hi Karin! Thanks for stopping by! We are trying to focus more on native plants this year too, in an effort to manage our water more efficiently. So much to learn! We’re also trying to live in harmony (ha ha!) with the deer, rabbits and squirrels in our area. So far they’re winning!

    • Carol

      Lovely photos and observations. Thank you, everyone, for sharing.
      Little Truths Studio replied:
      Hi Carol! Thanks for stopping by! Happy gardening. :)

    • Laura Bray

      Thanks for the shoutout! Hope all is well. It’s almost Spring! Time to start our gardens again!
      Little Truths Studio replied:
      Thanks for being a part of this post, Laura! The sun has felt so good this week, hasn’t it?! Can’t wait to get growing!

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Hi Friends!

    I’m Lori Roberts

    At the heart of Little Truths Studio is a shared journey. To be better humans. To make the world more beautiful with our actions and intentions. To declare our values into being. I speak these truths through gentle art, thoughtful words and a desire to embrace a slower, kinder way of life. Learn more about me >