I have never ceased to be amazed and inspired by certain people and their life work. I came across the works of another excellent person of late, while on a visit to the Kew Gardens in London. In fact, the “Marianne North Gallery” is cited as one of the main visitor attractions in the place. The Gallery houses hundreds of paintings – indeed there are so many of them that they have had to be stacked from top to bottom and side to side of each wall. The paintings are of a wide range of plants coming from places all over the world – United States, Canada, Brazil, Srilanka, India to name just a few. Some of the paintings have captured not just the plant, but the surrounding areas as well – giving us a taste of the land’s culture. For instance, there are coconut trees painted against a backdrop of a temple. I was so overwhelmed by the diversity and sheer number of paintings on display, that I could not resist doing a Google search on the artist, once I got home. What I learnt impressed me further.

Marriane North Gallery

The artist, Marriane North, had no formal training in illustration, but did possess a natural flair for the same. Her father was an MP, which served her well and she utilized all the political connections she gained to travel across the world. But what impressed me most was the fact that, she wasted neither these opportunities nor her talent. Indeed, she has made maximum use of most of her travels, painting any interesting plants she came across. In fact, during an eight –month stay at Brazil, she is said to have completed more than 100 paintings!


So, what are my learnings from all this? Simple – it’s just that – if I have a talent and I happen to discover it too, I shouldn’t waste it. Indeed, the time spent in pruning my skills, is never time wasted – at least not anymore! If my talent lies in writing, I should continue doing just that – grabbing every day, hour and indeed minute to put my thoughts into words, no matter how silly the outcome! Time thus spent is bound to bear fruit, at some point or the other – and I do hope I continue writing, clinging onto this new found inspiration!


(Picture taken at the Kew Gardens. More information about Marriane North and her work can be found here.)

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