Original: oil on canvas, 48 inches in diameter; © Lee Robinsong 2005
“Hollyhock Garden” was painted by Lee Robinsong between 2000 and 2005 as a celebration of the legendary garden at the Hollyhock Retreat Centre on British Columbia’s Cortes Island.
The land that is now Hollyhock was originally carved out of the wilderness for a homestead in the 1920s. With constant care, a garden has been cultivated there ever since. Framed by a forest of pines, cedars and firs, the garden is a living canvas, an ever-changing painting of the seasons that reflects the cycle of life.
In the spirit of the Prairie painter William Kurelek, “Hollyhock Garden” pays tribute to Canadian pioneers, rural life, and the importance of living with and from the land. The image reflects late afternoon in midsummer as the shadows of the surrounding forest start to cover the garden. Raspberries are in full production, and garlic and peas are ready to be harvested along with an abundance of lettuce, kale, herbs and flowers.
The painting is dedicated to Nori Fletcher, Hollyhock’s visionary gardener, who has given the garden form since 1984.