Magnolia Little Gem

Magnolia Little Gem Karen LaFontaine
A detail from oil painting entitled August Magnolia

A Georgia Garden Beauty

At the start of our spring gardening season, some twenty years ago, my husband planted a new tree in our backyard. I remember quite clearly you see, because it was my birthday and I requested the addition of a Magnolia Little Gem to our garden as my very special birthday wish.

It was not the first time we spent my birthday at our local plant nursery enjoying the sights and scents of tender new budding plants. As our winter season fades and our southern weather turns mild and wonderful for working outdoors, my love of gardening is always ignited.

I remember choosing our Magnolia Little Gem and excitedly adding him to our shopping cart. He stood proudly at just thirty inches high, and I was already enthralled with the vision of hundreds of lush lemon-scented flowers in our future. Once home, my husband and I spent the afternoon choosing a place to plant him. We imagined Magnolia Little Gem some twenty feet high and almost as wide. The back corner of our property receives plenty of sunlight, and so it became his home.

Today, we enjoy the height of this summer season. Our once thirty-inch Magnolia Tree now stands elegantly tall, in all his southern glory, at more then twenty feet high! His enticing lemon-scented flowers are a favorite of mine. I treasure every flower petal through the summer season, inhaling fully all the flowers within my reach. I spend numerous summer mornings, afternoons and evenings studying and photographing his many wonderful buds and blooms from every angle. My Magnolia Little Gem and I take in the summer sun together. I rake up his fallen leaves as he sheds them. I bring him fresh soil. I never tire of caretaking for him and basking in his magnificent beauty. I am a southern lady – I have a Magnolia Tree!

I sift through my beautiful Magnolia photography in my painting studio. It is only natural that I commit the beauty of Magnolia Little Gem to canvas. I study the contrast of creamy white flowers set against a bright blue Georgia sky. I study further… colors, shapes and shadows… on canvas. Over numerous weeks I glaze on thin layers of custom mixed colors in search of creating a very special glow. I make a promise to myself, my summer Magnolia will be a little gem of a painting.

From the window of my painting studio, I see my magnificent tree in my backyard. He fills a special place in my heart. I turn back to my canvas and I endeavor to pay him just homage for the beauty I have enjoyed for more then twenty years.

Thank you for visiting me in my Artist’s Journal On The Easel. I enjoy sharing the inspiration for a summer inspired painting I have entitled, August Magnolia, with you! This little gem is oil on canvas, eight inches by eight inches. Visit August Magnolia on my easel here!

Life is Art! Be well, Karen LaFontaine

Share the beauty of a southern summer magnolia by sharing this post with friends.

Share this post...


Recent Posts

Artist's Journal Quote by Karen LaFontaine October 2022

Rose Painting

Today is a magically wonderful day in my art studio. I am laser focused on my subject, immersed in the rhythm of painting a single …

Read More →
Twilight Karen LaFontaine Artist's Journal On The Easel


I cherish my time in my painting studio at day’s end. The daylight is fading and there remains just a bit of twilight to illuminate …

Read More →
Butterfly Wings Artist's Journal On The Easel

Butterfly Wings

Such Beautiful Things Among my new oil paintings this summer, Passion Butterfly Tango, which showcases the fleeting beauty of one of the South’s long-winged and …

Read More →
Seven Pipers Running by Karen LaFontaine on exhibit at The Hudgens Center

A Story Worth Sharing

A Seashore Inspired Painting The story of my oil painting Seven Pipers Running is unique. The creation of this eighteen by twenty four inch canvas …

Read More →
Detail Bee Happy by Karen LaFontaine for Artist's Journal

Bee Happy This Fall!

A Sunflower Portrait The spectacular beauty of our fall season is increasingly abundant with each passing day. Renewed energy and good cheer ushered in by …

Read More →
Ode To O'Keeffe by Karen LaFontaine Artist's Journal Detail

Ode To O’Keeffe

Channeling a Master My latest oil painting is inspired by the beauty of my flower garden and all its many colorful blooms. My focus for …

Read More →
Scroll to Top