A highly-collected artist and gifted storyteller, Arsenault can often be found quietly painting among the Garden’s ever-changing landscapes. His vibrant color palette and recognizable style showcase the diversity of its richness and abundance.
As Naples Botanical Garden evolved and expanded, Arsenault witnessed its transformation first-hand, and his paintings beautifully document how the landscape has grown and changed over time.
Arsenault’s relationship with the Garden began in the 1990s when he and his wife, Eileen, were quick to support early efforts to build a botanical garden in Naples. He painted Orchid Sale during the budding non-profit’s plant sale, which helped raise funds through the sale of prints. The painting shows two dedicated volunteers with a table of plants at the Prelude Garden, the Garden’s temporary 30-acre property on Bayshore Drive.
Through his paintings, Arsenault seeks to capture the identity of each garden or space—the wild, dense foliage of Irma’s Garden, or a serene lake view with wading birds lining the water’s edge. The LaGrippe Orchid Garden, always filled with an array of blooming epiphytes, continues to be a favorite of Arsenault’s. It’s ever-changing display of colors and textures invites him to paint it over and over again.
The Garden provides endless inspiration for Arsenault, who can often be seen painting en plein air among the lush, tropical landscapes. When looking for a new scene to paint, he considers a number of things: What’s in bloom today? Where is the light? What areas are different from the last visit?
“I feel I know the Garden so well and have seen it through its different chapters as it’s evolved. To be witness to such a successful community endeavor, it’s just exciting. Naples Botanical Garden is not only world-class, but it is a model for all other botanical gardens to aspire toward,” Arsenault said.