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Gardening Guru & Artist Makes Her Art Bloom Year-round with a Clever 3-D Effect

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

Flowers may be fading outdoors right now, but not for Elizabeth Waddington who knows how to keep things blooming in a pot or on paper year-round! (Scroll down for artwork.)

Artist: Elizabeth Waddington

Town: McHenry, IL

Medium: Watercolor Collage

Encouraging Words: I see a lot of people who want to pursue art, but say they’re too busy. However, art will wait for you. Your desire will still be there when it’s time. Then create what makes you happy.”

Living in a home ringed by lush flower beds is a big plus for Elizabeth Waddington who thrives on drawing both flowers and foliage. Becoming familiar with each petal and their vivid colors as she nurtures her garden outside, inspires her artistry inside, along with a plethora of seed catalogs.

As temperatures dip, she brings about 50 plants into her studio to winter. The collection includes 10-year-old hibiscus, begonias, cacti, orchids and kalanchoe.

“I’d describe my flower beds as having a casual, cottage garden look with lilies of the valley scenting the walk up toward the front door,” she said. Morning glories and Hellebore such as the Lenten Rose add to the welcoming look.

She grew up in Illinois with a mother who was an avid gardener. Although as a child, Elizabeth wasn’t especially interested, she accompanied her mother to garden centers and subconsciously absorbed information.

Elizabeth uses a monoprint technique onto wet paper, adds more watercolor after it dries, and then starts cutting petals or leaves to go “outside the mat” as she captures the flower’s exuberant growth. She uses the heaviest watercolor paper, 300-lb, so that it retains color and shape well throughout the collage steps.

She’s partial to painting coleus leaves because of their interesting veining and color variety, along with iris, hollyhocks and foxglove.

Her artwork is priced from $50 to several hundred with the average around $200. She maintains an ambitious art show calendar throughout the Midwest and beyond. Check her website and FACEBOOK page for more information:





A view of Elizabeth's outdoor art fair booth.


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