artist Waller gets
inspiration from her garden
focused her creativity
on gardening for 17 years
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(December 2008) Returning to her easel after
a hiatus from painting, Madison, Ind., artist Teresa Waller found an
exciting subject for her work right outside her doorway.
I reached a point where I needed inspiration, and it came to me
one evening while watering my garden. For about 17 years, Ive
poured all my creative energy into gardening. I am particularly fond
of foliage plants, specifically the caladium and elephant
ear plants. But I hadnt thought of painting them until that moment
That moment of inspiration has blossomed into an entire series of paintings
that vividly capture the moment when a gardener bends close to a prized
plant and enjoys the play of light on the natural colors.
Wallers plant paintings will be
shown through Dec.
at the Madison
The show, Portraits from the Garden, is currently
on display at The Artisans Gallery and will run through Dec 28. The
Gallery is located at 325 E. Main Street in Madison.
Waller explains the process behind capturing the garden plants on canvas
saying, The first experiments were strictly from life. I took
the potted plants to the studio, lit them with spot lights to mimic
the effect of the sun as I observed it in the garden.
Faced with the seasonal life cycle of the plants and natural changes
in the leaves, the artist then began using photography to capture particular
moments in the plants development and to serve as references for
her paintings. Now I take lots of photographs of my plants and
of plants I see in other peoples gardens, says Waller.
Yet, these paintings do far more than provide a simple image of the
leaves. Waller, 51, stresses that I am not trying to copy
In every painting there comes a time when I must put the photograph
out of sight and work with the painting as a separate entity. In the
end, I hope that the painting succeeds in capturing the essence of what
inspired me, rather than be a photo realistic image.
In the past few months, Bob Maile, owner of Madison Table Works, expanded
the business to include the Artisans Gallery. Inspired by the Madison
Art Jam, Maile working with artist Bob Saueressig has assembled an enviable
collection of functional and decorative art available for sale. The
interplay between handmade chandeliers and finely crafted tables with
photographs and paintings allows visitors to imagine how the items might
look in an actual home setting. At any time, shoppers can enjoy the
work of between 30 to 40 area artists and craftsmen. Maile is particularly
proud of the range of styles presented in the gallery, from cutting
edge sculpture and painting to traditional quilts and photographs.
We have a variety of things here, something to appeal to most
people, he notes.
The building itself provides a striking showcase for the works inside.
This atmosphere is no accident. Maile explains that the goal of renovations
was to recapture the history of the building, Weve tried
to put it back to the old wagon and carriage factory look. The
result allows visitors to appreciate the art and furniture in a settling
that highlights the stories behind handcrafted items.
The paintings on display have previously been shown in Louisville, so
this exhibition at the Artisans Gallery marks a homecoming event for
the portraits. This series of work is special to me because it
joins two thing about which I am passionate: gardening and painting,
Waller said. The show Portraits From The Garden is
special to me because its here in Madison. This is where the plants
grew, this is my home, this is where I have many friends and family,
and this is where I paint.
The gallery will be open for special, extended hours during the Nights
Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes, and the Madison Art Jam
on Dec. 12. During these times, visitors will have the opportunity to
meet with the artist and learn more about her work and inspiration.
For more information on The Artisans Gallery or Madison
Table Works, call (812) 273-5050.
Back to December 2008