Since my last solo show Rococo, I have been working on a series of paintings which I have called the ‘Walled Garden’. This is a small collection of around 12 paintings which I started to work on in the depths of winter. Dreaming of a summer to get me through the short dark days, I started on Cream Tea, and when the first daffodils appeared in the garden, I began on the flower paintings. In this series of summer paintings I wanted to create an outdoor feel to my interiors and still lifes, and an indoor feel to my outdoor scenes. So the concept of a walled garden seemed the ideal setting for me to use, as to me, it is the perfect ‘outdoor room’. For further inspiration, I looked to Dutch Still life paintings from the 16/17th century, with all their details of immaculately painted flowers, fruit, insects, game and butterflies. With summer sketch book, walled garden and sowing seeds, I have set out to create an outdoor setting for my figures to inhabit; a safe haven of expression, creation, contemplation and reflection; secured and embraced by warm sun-drenched walls, and secret garden doors. To create an outdoor feel to my interiors and flower paintings, I have used natural elements in my fabrics and textiles and brought flowers inside as arrangements. Through the windows I paint garden-scapes and use butterflies to link the two worlds together. All these devices help me to create a sense of unity and completeness and reinforce my desire to open doors and expand my contrived space. I have kept the same palette as I used in my last solo show, in that I am using the same umber ground and the lighter pastel colours. However the overall mood is slightly altered by omitting the cerulean blue that was very prevalent in Rococo and exchanging it for a warmer soft blue/ grey. This helps me create the atmosphere of hazy, warm, summer days, and with the inclusion of some soft buttery creams and stronger cadmium yellows I hope that these paintings express all the desired qualities of the perfect imagined summer. Lucy Doyle, June, 2012.