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The Art of Painting Lavender

Island painter Teresa Smith ponders the beauty and allure of lavender at the San Juan Island Lavender Festival

I am painting lavender these days and it sure smells good. As a full time contemporary oil painter, I paint the island. I paint the trees, the bushes, the grasses and the rocks. I paint the distant mountains and islands, forests and sky. I paint the Salish Sea. And I paint lavender.

An artist has an intimate relationship with his or her world. Once a person has painted one tree, they see all trees in a new light.

“Look at all those colors that I never saw before!” I hear a student say after their first lesson.  So, is it that I love lavender so much that I must paint it, or do I paint it and so I love it even more? Good question.

We see things, as artists, or should I say notice, examine, ponder. Looking at a gorgeous field of lavender has me stopping in my tracks, looking at the colors subtly imbedded, and then thinking “is that magenta mixed with a little pthalo blue?  Yes, and the smallest smidge of cadmium orange. Look how light that water is next to the deepest purple.

My next thought is “I am going to paint that!”

On July 21st and 22nd, at the San Juan Island Lavender Festival at Pelindaba Lavender Farm, you'll have a chance to see the lavender fields in full bloom and ponder them for yourself. You can talk to some of the other artists and vendors or wander the fields enjoying a cold drink or some lavender ice cream.

We will be surrounded by the intoxicating aroma wafting in from the fields, and I'll be showing off my brand-new lavender paintings. . It reminds me of a few drops of lavender essential oil sprinkled on my babies’ pillow, salve that I made from oil and coconut butter for cuts and scrapes. It reminds me of summer and good friends. It reminds me of the island and stiped fields of magenta, rose, ultramarine and cobalt blue.

Watch Teresa Smith Painting Lavender - Video

Pelindaba Lavender Farm, San Juan Island, Photo Courtesy of San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

Lavender in Bloom

At Pelindaba Lavender Farm, you can learn about lavender and enjoy the beauty and art of the San Juans.