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I've written before about Jennifer Bartlett's year in France, when she produced a staggering body of work using the mundane garden of her temporary home as the source for the images. I found the work instructive about how using a variety of approaches can teach our eye a great deal regardless of subject matter. Looking around today for a subject for daily practice, I realized that I sit in our garden at the moment, enjoying the rhododendrons and iris in bloom. Yet flowers are a subject that is difficult to approach without falling into standard renditions of "beauty", and so I rarely use them as a source material. However, today I got caught up in the potential for more abstract compositions in the garden, picking out tiny, delicate details in a sea of tones and colours, in a way making the actual subject matter irrelevant yet also making a bold declaration of "beauty".