Creative Gardening

Creative Gardening - student project


Sommer Maxwell


Instagram: @sommermaxwellillustration

Pinterest: smaxwelltx 

For my class project, I followed the steps of Phase I - IV before beginning a 6-week journey focusing on garden art. 

 I've been creating art for the last two years. When watching this class, I realized that I had been doing some of the "pruning" in my process already, but hadn't really taken the time to write it all down and create a prototype goal for myself. 


The typical approach to my art: collage, mixed media, watercolor, gouache & some digital

Concrete limitations - With family obligations I only have about 4 hours a day to work, I need a medium that dries quickly, I am self-taught, I only have a small scanner (up to 9 X 12) at home, but a larger scanner at my co-working desk, desk/studio space is limited to my desk and my dining room table so smaller pieces are best, my skill level is increasing the more I practice and take classes




food/culture & food



telling stories/listening to stories of people doing good in their communities



bright colors






home/creating a home

I am a big picture introvert and have an interest in creating and noticing environments/spaces and tend to be a sensitive and empathetic person

PHASE III - Hypothesis

I've been testing out different media over the last 2 years, and what I've finally landed at is that collage is my very favorite. I love creating collage papers with watercolor, gouache, tempera paint, and even acrylic paint textures. I keep several envelopes filled with my colored papers (and even colored coffee filters!) so that I can create any time I'd like! I add in a little fine liner pen, marker or colored pencil now and again. I always digitize my art, by scanning it in, cleaning it up, and then plan to put it on paper goods for consumers, companies whose values I share, and non-profits to enjoy. 

This is a process I love and would like to continue. I definitely love the hands-on process more than the digital part, but as long as I keep a balance, I'm learning and being able to share my art which is the important part. 


I'm going to focus the next 6 weeks on "Things I'm inspired by in the garden..."

It is a timely project, and I have plenty to play with. 

FOCUS: joyful, childlike, garden animals, garden veggies, fruits, flowers, garden tools, sunshine, rain 

I even made some goals after my garden project to explore such as spring/summer/water/local food

My plan is to post my work on Instagram and Pinterest as I go

Skill goals: market research, working on proportions in collage, Photoshop skills, collage paper techniques, cleaning up work digitally, create a personal lettering alphabet to use with art


This was such a fun class. I hope to share (and update!) my process over the next 6 weeks. 


Creative Gardening - image 1 - student project