DRAWN TO THE GARDEN

A TAL­ENTED IL­LUS­TRA­TOR BASED IN THE NSW SOUTH­ERN TABLE­LANDS PA­PER BRINGS BRINGS GAR­DENS TO LIFE ON PA­PER.

Country Style - - CONTENTS - WORDS VIR­GINIA IMHOFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHY AB­BIE MELLE

Il­lus­tra­tor Jeremy Good­man, based in Crook­well, NSW, brings peo­ple’s gar­dens to life in wa­ter­colour.

FOR SOME­ONE WHO is so pas­sion­ate about gar­dens, Jeremy Good­man is happy to con­fess that his own green thumb ex­tends to be­ing pretty handy at mow­ing. His real ex­per­tise lies in cap­tur­ing other peo­ple’s gar­dens in his ex­quis­ite wa­ter­colour il­lus­tra­tions. Since 2010 — when Jeremy chanced across a book of fa­mous land­scape de­signer Edna Walling’s garden plans and was in­spired to res­ur­rect old skills with pen­cil and paint­brush — he has been cre­at­ing his own garden maps for clients. Garden Por­traits is both the name and na­ture of his busi­ness. And Jeremy’s framed paint­ings are in­deed art­works in their own right. “I love gar­dens but I’m not re­ally a gar­dener my­self — my wife Ann is the very keen gar­dener... I ride the ride-on mower very well,” he quips. “I’m very for­tu­nate to be spend­ing all this time wan­der­ing around other peo­ple’s gar­dens.” Ann and Jeremy live on 16 hectares at Crook­well in the NSW South­ern Table­lands, which they bought as a week­end es­cape from Syd­ney 30 years ago. A prop­erty with won­der­ful old snow gums that frame the views out across the val­ley. The cou­ple made Cly­des­dale (so named be­cause “the plan was to have Cly­des­dale horses run­ning around ev­ery­where”) their per­ma­nent home back in 2003. “We de­cided it was time to do the ‘green change’, so we turned what had been a lit­tle shed into a proper house, got two labrador pup­pies and started liv­ing the dream,” says Jeremy, who was a graphic de­signer, then a part­ner in an ad­ver­tis­ing agency, be­fore the move. For a while Jeremy worked lo­cally in the sig­nage in­dus­try un­til he started look­ing for some­thing else to do. “Then wori­icameacross­a­bookinthe­li­brary­ofed­nawalling’swork [ The Vi­sion of Edna Walling: Garden Plans 1920–1951 by Tr­isha Dixon and Jen­nie Churchill]. I saw her wa­ter­colours, and was amazed by how beau­ti­ful they were... I just loved the look of the wa­ter­colours and I started won­der­ing — would any of the peo­ple who own fab­u­lous gar­dens to­day be in­ter­ested in hav­ing a wa­ter­colour illustration done of their garden?” It just so hap­pened that Jeremy had been trained in illustration and paint­ing, al­beit a long time ago, mak­ing those skills a tri­flfle rusty. “When I started in ad­ver­tis­ing 40 years ago I did com­mer­cial art and graphic de­sign and we were taught all those ba­sic draw­ing skills be­cause there were no com­put­ers — how to use a pen­cil, do let­ter­ing, how to draw a straight line with­out a ruler.” And there was no deny­ing that garden art was al­ready in his blood. A work done by his late mother, El­iz­a­beth, pro­vided more timely in­spi­ra­tion. A botan­i­cal artist, she painted Ann and Jeremy’s land­scaped garden as a Christ­mas present for him. “A lot of our vis­i­tors made nice com­ments about this paint­ing hang­ing on our wall and in 2010, when I was think­ing of what to do, an­other bell went offff in my head!” Jeremy’s fi­first foray into garden illustration was on his own garden — de­signed as a trio of cir­cles to pick up on the curves in the bor­rowed land­scape and planted with hardy >

species in­clud­ing na­tive grasses, clipped westringia and cal­lis­te­mon. Later he ap­proached friends. “I rang them up and said ‘Can I bor­row your garden, and you can have the pic­ture, if I can have a print?’” Then with this small port­fo­lio he headed offff to a cou­ple of garden shows to see if any­one was in­ter­ested. “The an­swer was yes; peo­ple were very in­ter­ested.” Since then he’s painted gar­dens large and small — from a bal­cony garden in a re­tire­ment vil­lage, to a grand es­tate garden in Tas­ma­nia as well as vine­yards. Jeremy starts a com­mis­sion with a visit to the garden armed with his trusty board, graph pa­per and pen­cil, pac­ing out the bound­aries, the place­ment of trees, house and struc­tures with his handy one-me­tre stride. He takes notes and “hun­dreds of pho­to­graphs”. Of­ten own­ers will want im­por­tant de­tails added such as pets — and in one case, an old truck tyre swing. “I was told ‘You must put in the truck tyre hang­ing in the tree be­cause three gen­er­a­tions of this fam­ily have swung on that tyre’ — and I’ve some­how had to leave a hole in the tree canopy as you wouldn’t nor­mally see the swing from above. I’ve done ev­ery­thing; cows, dogs, horses — and chooks...” He’s the fi­first to ad­mit that a chook looks re­ally “weird” from above, and a sheep, well, just plain “ridicu­lous — like a grain of rice” but for him as well as garden own­ers, it’s th­ese added de­tails that make the paint­ings more mean­ing­ful. Over the years his paint­ings have de­vel­oped and his busi­ness grown to the point where he’s visit­ing gar­dens all around the coun­try and is rarely with­out work in progress. Even so, he still has a garden wish list. “I haven’t done a desert garden.” Any down time is usu­ally spent in his own garden. “I mow lawns for re­cre­ation — and when you’ve got an acre of green stuffff, that’s an aw­ful lot of mow­ing.” For in­for­ma­tion, tele­phone (02) 4848 1295 or visit jere­mys­gar­den­por­traits.com

Il­lus­tra­tor Jeremy Good­man paints garden por­traits in wa­ter­colour. FAC­ING PAGE Jeremy and his wife, Ann, in their garden with their 13-year-old labradors, Marky and Chess (short for Duchess).

Ajeremy’aprint­i­nan­nand­jeremy’sLone Mustang sittt­ting room. The ce­ramic sculp­ture is by lo­cal sculp­tor Bar­bara Bar­low, while the wooden horse is from an an­tique store.

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