Mixed media on birch panel, 50 x 50 cm
In An Italian Garden II - Annette Elizabeth Sykes
Some years ago my husband and I stumbled upon an empty, run-down cottage along a tiny lane, hidden from view by hugely overgrown bushes and trees.
Well, me being me, nosey as ever - or should I be kind to myself and say inquisitive - I poked my head through a gap in the said hedge and gasped in delight.
Overgrown and green, the garden was on a steep slope to a stream, laid out in Italianate style, with glorious statues, formal paths, and a sunken pond. Wide stone steps led down to it and a grassy path led around to a tiny bridge on the opposite side, sheltered beneath the lowering branches of once ornate trees.
My breath was taken away and my heart was stolen, it was so beautiful in its desolation and neglect, I could have just stayed there forever.
So when this figure appeared in my creations she took my memory back to this enchanted place; she seemed to meld into this magical, forgotten piece of paradise, as elegant and graceful as the memory in my heart.
We have never returned, it would lose the enchanted picture in my mind if it has been dragged back into its’ intended glamorous, groomed, gleaming original state. I prefer to hold the preciousness of the moment undiluted as a treasured, stolen hour of solitude and pleasure.