Arts Everyday Living: Expressions of Painting and Prose—A Garden by the Sea

Click on Celia Thaxter in Her Garden and Poppies, Isles of Shoals to enhance them.


It seems strange to write a book about a little garden only fifty feet by fifteen feet wide!  But then, as a friend pleasantly remarked to me, “it extends upward,” and what it lacks in area is more than compensated by the large joy that grows out of it and its uplifting and refreshment of “the Spirit of Man.”

Celia Thaxter, An Island Garden





Childe Hassam, In the Garden (Celia Thaxter in Her Garden), 1892, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.




Poppies seem, on the whole, the most satisfactory flowers among the annuals.  There is absolutely no limit to their variety of color.  They are the tenderest lilac, the deepest crimson, richest scarlet, white with softest suffusion of rose……

Celia Thaxter, An Island Garden





Childe Hassam, Poppies, Isles of Shoals, c. 1890, pastel on paper, Private Collection




American Impressionist Childe Hassam (1859-1935) and New England writer Celia Thaxter (1835-1894) were close friends and spent many summers on Appledore, part of the Isles of Shoals, off the coast of New Hampshire.  Thaxter had a home there where she invited Hassam and other painters, poets and musicians to participate in her artists’ “salon.”

Hassam particularly admired Thaxter’s island garden that she nurtured and cultivated behind her cottage, immortalizing its haunting beauty not only in the works above (including her portrait), but in his illustrations of her book An Island Garden.


And to enjoy the multi-arts collaboration of Thaxter and Hassam, click:



For Hassam’s tribute to Celia Thaxter, click:



The above images are used solely for educational purposes.


Do you have a garden?  If you do, see it from a new perspective with Through an Artist’s Eyes: Learning to Live Creatively.

Available on Amazon!

Available on Amazon!