Artist, Photographer and Writer
Janice Mason Steeves
travels the world in search of beauty to inspire her paintings

Click images for galleries
     
My work is a celebration of life. I’m interested in the concept of a personal quest like the mythological search for Shambhala or the Holy Grail -- the inner search for meaning, peace and wholeness -- and the idea of pilgrimage -- a transformational journey to a sacred center. Inspired by the various travels and pilgrimages I have taken, I search for the essence of the journey, or the “Spirit of Place” and aim to find an image or symbol that would express that Spirit. In doing so, I remain open to the Muse, to the unexpected ideas that come to me and I delight in exploring new directions. I rely on intuition to lead the way.

     


Gallery of
Lotus Series
 


Gallery and original "myth" of
Evening on the Lake of Dreams
     

My interest in waterlilies began many years ago when I owned a cottage on Georgian Bay in northern Ontario, where I would paddle my kayak to the end of the bay into a small lagoon that was filled with native white waterlilies (Nymphaea odorata) and yellow pond lilies. I spent many hours drifting around and photographing in that lagoon and I devoted three years to painting these waterlilies.

Later travels took me twice to India, where I learned about the sacred lotus and its importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. Although I never saw lotuses growing in India, I did see lotus buds that were presented as offerings to Shiva at temples in the south of India. When I came home from India, I was interested to learn where I might see lotus growing in Canada, and I contacted a garden writer at the Toronto Star newspaper to ask for assistance. She put me in touch with the owner of a private water garden on Lake Erie and the friendly gardener invited me to visit his pond the following summer. I was absolutely stunned when I visited this garden and saw the lotuses in bloom. I had no idea of the size of the flowers or their spectacular beauty and I fell in love with the ‘Mrs. Perry D. Slocum’ variety.

     


Gallery of Mudan Series
I have a long-standing interest in peonies, particularly tree peonies. I travelled to China and Tibet (on another form of pilgrimage), in search of wild tree peonies and also visited and photographed the spectacular collection of tree peonies at Linwood Gardens near Rochester, NY USA. I was taken with the resemblance of this particular lotus to the blowsy look and enormous size of the tree peonies.
     

China and Tibet


Photo Gallery and Diary
"It’s a long flight to Beijing, China. I look out the window and daydream about going to China and Tibet on a quest for wild peonies, just like Frank Kingdon-Ward and Joseph Rock, famous plant hunters/adventurers of the early 1900s. They journeyed on foot into the rugged mountains of the Yarlung Tsangpo River area, the same area where we are going -- the southwest border region between China and Tibet. They collected wild peonies (more . . .)

When I asked Dr. Jim Waddick, the American botanist on the Peonies of China trip, where I might find out about water gardens in the US and around the world, he put me in touch with Kit Knotts and the Water Gardeners International website, where I printed off the entire list of water gardens worldwide. I decided I would aim to see as many of these gardens as I could, and began last summer with three gardens ... Perry’s Water Gardens in North Carolina, Lilypons Water Gardens in Maryland, and Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. 
     

 Lotus Pilgrimage
Photo Galleries and Narrative
Complete
300 K - For shorter downloads
Part 1 - Perry's Water Gardens | Part 2 - Lilypons Water Gardens | Part 3 - Longwood Gardens
 


Perry's Water Gardens 


Lilypons Water Gardens 


Longwood Gardens 

     

A New Botanic Garden with Water Features for WGI
Jardin Majorelle
Marakesh, Morocco

I was in Morocco October of 2008. I thought you'd be interested in seeing the Majorelle Gardens, which became Yves St. Laurent's home and gardens for the last years of his life. He died about a year ago and is buried there. 

Photo Gallery

     

Janice Mason Steeves
travels the world in search of beauty to inspire her paintings

Introduction and Index
Lotus Series Gallery | Evening on the Lake of Dreams Gallery and Myth
Mudan Series Gallery | China and Tibet Photo Gallery and Diary

Lotus Pilgrimage Photo Galleries and Narrative
Complete
300 K - For shorter downloads
Part 1 - Perry's Water Gardens | Part 2 - Lilypons Water Gardens | Part 3 - Longwood Gardens

Jardin Majorelle Photo Gallery, Marakesh, Morocco
Profile - Janice Mason Steeves

www.janicemasonsteeves.com

WGI ONLINE Journal Table of Contents
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