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 2 - Lilypons Water Gardens

. . . Although I had thought of going to see the Water Gardens at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Sarah Duke Gardens in Durham, and the Louis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, I had spent too long photographing at Perry’s. With other time constraints, we decided to head straight to Adamstown, Maryland, to see Lilypons Water Gardens, driving along part of the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway.
We spent two glorious days at Lilypons and I lived behind my lens, even in the rain. It was a gentle rain though. The next morning was sunny so I shot for several hours in the early light. I can’t really describe it -- the quiet experience of walking around the acres of ponds filled with waterlilies and lotus.  


Images from Lilypons Water Gardens









< Part 1 - Perry's Water Gardens
Part 3 - Longwood 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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