I woke up this morning and had one of those moments of understanding when you see something that has been right before your eyes, for the first time.
The strawberries in my garden are ripe - honestly, nothing taste as good as homegrown, just off-the-vine fruit and vegetables.
I was lying in bed in those early morning hours when you shift between dreaming and conscious thought, thinking about the strawberries.
My Grandparents were farmers in rural Iowa. As a child, I spent my summers at my grandparent's farm. It was a place where I felt warm, safe, and free to explore. I loved everything about it: the fresh air, the green fields, the animals, the barn, my Grandma's cooking, and her garden.
The garden was a favorite spot. It was a large patch of land behind the house, surrounded by a white picket fence. My grandparents raised or grew most of what they ate, so the garden was tended with care and skill. She grew various vegetables and fruits, but the strawberries were the best. They were sweet and juicy and red as rubies. We would pick them for breakfast and eat them with cream and sugar.
The garden was also a place of adventure and discovery. I would dig for worms and bugs, chase butterflies and bees, and make bouquets of flowers. I would pretend to be a farmer, a pirate, a princess, or a superhero. I would imagine stories and act them out with my dolls. The garden was my stage, my playground, my sanctuary.
I have many fond memories of my grandparent's farm in Iowa. It was a refuge from the world. It was a place where I learned about nature, life, and love. It was a place where I was happy.
There was a Picket Fence that separated the house from the garden. It was white and sturdy and had a gate that squeaked when you opened it. I liked to hide behind the fence and watch the birds and squirrels in the trees. Sometimes I would paint the fence with water and a brush or decorate it with ribbons and flowers. The fence was a boundary but also a bridge. It separated the house from the garden but also connected them. It was a symbol of my grandparents' love and care for their home and their land.
I had this warm feeling in my heart this morning when I realized that Picket Fence Art Studio is the place where I feel safe. Where I can still explore and create in a warm and supportive environment. The art studio is my personal garden, where I can grow and harvest my ideas, experiment and explore, and be myself.
So it should not be surprising that I named my studio "Picket Fence" Art Studio. The name came to me one day when I was working in my garden, and it just seemed to fit.
My goal is for it to be a space where you can do the same.
So come play in the garden with us!
Jamie Lightfoot is an oil painter and owner of Picket Fence Art Studio.