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Nan, 18 x 24 inches, oil on panel. Reuter says for her, the garden is a “kind of a sacred place where all of these women have put their creative energies. It brought these women together, they are very close and they have shared their good times and bad.” Nan’s garden portrait shows her holding a wood handled spade. Behind her the landscape dips, a pathway opens and in the grass a young girl runs toward a cabin in the distance. Peonies grow in the foreground. “They were Nan’s favorite. Mimi is always talking about the medicinal qualities of each plant, which is why I put bee balm in front of her. Mary Rose is the daughter and she has the poppies all around her,” Reuter says. Nan carried so much dirt in the back of her truck that plants were growing in it. Mimi Sager and Nan, who hiked together, had known each other for a while. “They would go shopping for plants in Mimi’s old station wagon. Nan would have plants delivered to her house without her husband knowing and would transplant them before he got home,” Reuter says. Nan’s life revolved around her garden. “Before Nan died she was sick, and the garden was going downhill. Her friends Pat and Caroline went over and started helping with the weeding and they would go whenever they could,” Reuter says. Pat Tooley also holds a wooden handled tool in her portrait. A butterfly dances above her head. Another drinks nectar from a nearby flower. Reuter has painted her in a T-shirt. “She always wears a Ya Ya’s T-shirt. I wanted to show her age, her curiosity. All of these women ... are amazing parts of the community. This woman makes her own yogurt and is really a fantastic person,” Reuter says. 57 www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM


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