water lilies

Art and gardening are two of my favorite things…add in photography, and I have the perfect day!

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to visit, and paint an amazing garden at my friend’s private estate during the Kneeland Gallery Plein Air Event. I thought you might enjoy seeing my photos of this exceptional high altitude gardening.

flowers high altitude

Jane, the estate owner/gardener also happens to be a talented artisan.  A weaver by trade, Jane has woven a beautiful tapestry of color with perennial flowers, interesting trees, and garden sculptures with a bit of whimsy.

Before I began to paint, I wandered the extensive gardens in search of the perfect place to create on a hot August day. The grounds were filled with meandering streams that led to lily ponds amidst colorful flower beds.

garden bridge

pond flowers

garden bench ravens

High altitude or ‘alpine’ gardening can be challenging, but rewarding. The growing season is short, but the colors are extra brilliant in the bright sun where the air is clear and clean.

Jane’s large vegetable garden is fit for a queen, complete with an old wrought iron fence to keep out the local deer, elk and moose.

The entrance to the enormous greenhouse is flanked by hydrangeas and weeping birch trees.  Jane and her husband enjoy entertaining guests to candlelit dinners inside their greenhouse during the snowy winter months.


With her unique flare for detail, Jane lines the base of her outdoor table with wreaths of begonias!

garden table

While dining outside, guests can relax to the tranquil sounds of the many garden fountains…

water fountain in garden

A Deborah Butterfield horse sculpture shares the grand entrance to estate with a golf cart and mini tractor.

deborah butterfield horse

After touring the art and gardening, I finally settled upon a nice shady spot near the edge of an ornamental lily pond.

garden frogs turtles

pochade box garden

Somewhat overwhelmed by all the beautiful choices, I decided to paint an intimate scene of a water lily.

water lilies
©2012 Lori McNee "Rocky Mountain Water Lilies" 9x12

For me, this day will be a wonderful memory of summer that will help keep me warm during the  l o n g , cold, Idaho winter! I hope you enjoyed the garden tour.

**PS. Let’s meet on Twitterand on Google Plus, Pinterestand join in the fun at Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page! Please checkout my art too LoriMcNee.com, or find me on Instagram lorimcneeartist. ~Lori

Lori McNee

Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Artist Ambassador to Arches/Canson/Royal Talens. As the owner of FineArtTips.com, Lori blogs about fine art tips, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist. As a social media influencer, Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named a #TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She is a keynote speaker, has been a talk show host for Plum TV, writes for F+W Media publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Also, Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses. Lori is also a member of the CBS Entertainment Tonight & The Insider Tweet Team.

5 thoughts on “When Art and Gardening Meet

  1. Pingback: Rocky Mountain Water Lilies plein air oil painting by Lori McNee | Lori McNee Fine Artist

  2. arne hull says:

    All of your is stunning. I can almost hear the story surrounding every painting. Fantastic composition. Lovely use of color. Each image is so unique. I find myself wanting several of your paintings to make sure I can feel closer to the nature in your area. You have been blessed with a special gift. Thank you for sharing your talent.

    • Lori McNee says:

      Hello Arne! It’s fun to first meet you on Twitter and now to have you leave a comment. I really do appreciate your kind words and for taking time to comment.

      Thank you so much!
      Lori 🙂

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