ANITA Bowerman has to paint 12 paintings, one a month, in her year as artist in residence at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate.

"As you can imagine, I'm thrilled as I love nature, being outside and painting the stunning Harlow Carr landscape in all seasons and weather," says Anita, who runs the Dove Tree Art Gallery and Studio, in Back Granville Road, off Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate.

The first in Anita's series of watercolour paintings of much-loved scenes of Harlow Carr has been unveiled, featuring the rare Maytenus boaria tree, a landmark feature of the garden's 375ft-long main borders.

In post until September 2019, Anita will paint assorted garden vistas, from the Winter Walk to the vibrant spring colour and beauty of the Streamside, using her signature technique of painting with natural items she finds on the ground, ranging from fallen twigs and leaves to moss, grass, feathers and stones.

"I’ve always been fascinated with nature, wildlife and the outdoors, so it seemed perfectly logical for me to make the most of Mother Nature’s bounty to re-create scenes from nature itself," says Anita. "The garden offers such a beautiful and inspiring backdrop and I’m looking forward to capturing its iconic scenes that people will instantly recognise as Harlow Carr."

She prefers to paint each garden scene in situ, rather than relying on a photograph or sketch, and favours a horizontal canvas over a traditional upright easel, working predominantly in watercolour and acrylic.

"You’ll find me in the garden in all weathers," says Anita. "I think the odd drop of rain or wind-blown blossom really adds to the authenticity of my paintings. I try to incorporate whatever nature throws at me into the scenes, as well as making Impressionistic-style marks using my natural painting tools. For me, it’s the best way to capture the atmosphere, light and true essence of the subject."

Each original painting will be exhibited in Harlow Carr’s entrance conservatory during the month it represents and prints can be viewed and bought from Anita’s Victorian art studio in Harrogate or via her website at The full collection will go on display for the first time at Harlow Carr’s annual flower show from June 21 to 23 next summer.

Leeds-born Anita has been an artist for more than 20 years and worked earlier in her creative career as a buyer at Liberty London, the Regent Street store, as well as at Burberry and House of Fraser. She paints far and wide around the Yorkshire countryside and was the first Official Artist of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2015.

Charles Hutchinson