Read about Janice Mason Steeves

In the middle of a very cold Canadian winter in early 2007, I sat in front of my wood stove and poured over the huge list of international water gardens I had downloaded from the Water Gardeners International website. I planned a ten day driving trip to the US to see as many of those water gardens as I could. I called it a “lotus pilgrimage”. 

 Lotus Pilgrimage
July 2008

Inspiration for my exhibition,
“Evening on the Lake of Dreams” 

by Janice Mason Steeves

Click images to enlarge


Part 3 - Longwood Gardens

. . . Then on to the very sophisticated Longwood Gardens at Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. We arrived there in the late afternoon, when the light, low and slanting, is the best for photographing. In the Outdoor Waterlily Display within the glass Conservatory that looked like Kew Gardens, there were pools filled with over 100 types of day and night blooming water plants, from waterlilies to lotuses, and spectacular giant hybrid water platters.

The enormous Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrids’ had just come into bloom and, the evening we were there, NBC came with their television camera to photograph them. We stayed on to photograph as the sun set and the night blooming water plants opened. I was simply in awe. I had never seen this before.

< Tim Jennings demonstrates pollinating a
Victoria at Longwood Gardens


Images from Longwood Gardens














< Part 1 - Perry's Water Gardens
< Part 2 - Lilypons Water Gardens

When I returned home, I didn’t attempt to paint what I had seen on this pilgrimage. I just let it wash over me for several months. The creative process for me works in strange and mysterious ways and is most often inspired by a journey. After some time, I get a persistent thought or sort of vision of an image to paint. I usually follow this thought and begin to try to paint what I see in my head. The painting rarely turns out the same as the inner eye can see.

The waterlily series began in soft tones of greens and blues and creamy whites, but soon changed to tones of red and orange and hot pink -- even the lily pads. And as that happened, the title of the exhibition came to me very clearly in a flash one morning at 4:00 a.m. It was “Evening on the Lake of Dreams”. It shocked me a bit, that title, because I thought it was too much -- new-agey perhaps. But I decided to go with it. And as I made that decision, I had the clear idea to write a myth to accompany the title and the exhibition. Twenty paintings from this series are in my exhibition at Galerie D’Avignon in Montreal, on display May 2 through 23 2009. 

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

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
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

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