Artist Marjolein Bastin
Subject Location Netherlands
One day my husband Gaston was getting ready to cook dinner and asked me to get some chives from the herb garden to sprinkle over the potatoes. He told me well in advance because he knows it will take me a long time, at least an hour. Not because the herb garden is so far away (it’s maybe 100 yards away) but there is so much to see on the way there.
Like so often in life the journey is more interesting than the destination! I walked passed the pond filled with frogs, dragonflies, fish and aquatic insects. Then through the orchard, where I discovered many beetles, bees and crickets in the tall grass. Once through the anti-rabbit fence, I’m finally in the herb garden. At least half an hour had passed at this point. I found and collected the chives in no time at all but then noticed some ripe raspberries as well…It would have been a waste not to try some, wouldn’t it? And to be nice I brought some for Gaston as well. While the first part of the herb garden is limited to herbs we can actually use in the kitchen, the back is filled with flowers that I can use for beautiful bouquets.
That day I spent quite a bit of time by the Foxglove. It’s fascinating to watch the bumblebees disappear into the flowers to get the nectar out. You can’t see them but you hear their wings buzzing against the inside of the flower. They have no idea they’re an integral part of the pollination process. The gravel paths are partially covered by pink and light-blue Bellflowers. They are so abundant I could not resist bringing a few to brighten up the house. At this point the chives were covered by a mountain of flowers. Since it seemed I was working on a nice bouquet I figured I better include one of the peonies as well.
Once back at the house I placed all the flowers on an outdoor table by my studio so I could extract the chives for Gaston’s dinner. The birdhouse had been sitting on the table for a few weeks already and as soon as I saw the flowers in front of it I knew – it’s a beautiful summer painting! So I got to work…