Two Pears on Blue Table Cloth – a painting a day
4.5″x6″ 11cm x 15cm watercolour on heavyweight Fabriano paper
I am having another go at that beautiful camellia of mothers. Then again there are some pears in the fruit bowl and I haven’t done any pears yet.
Yesterday was too busy to paint there were so many plants to rescue from the lack of water; it did not rain on me while I was away which was lovely, but then it was torture for the recently transplanted or potted plants.
I spent today trying to reduce the number of plants in pots by getting them into the ground. I then ruined all my good work by discovering a pot with some cuttings from last summer. Hoorah they had worked…some of them…now where are those pots I just emptied…..better find some fresh compost.
There really are situations in real life where you run as fast as you can and find yourself back where you started, Alice found it perplexing and so to a degree do I.
On the other hand the cuttings will be useful , two are Siberian wallflowers and all the ones in the ground gave up the ghost over winter including the variegated one I bought new last year. I grow a very strange cultivar the flowers open yellow and change to purple or the other way round, it’s possibly called Chelsea Jacket but there’s no real way of knowing as the original cuttings were labelled with two names. They came from a church plant sale. It sounds vile but in a mixed border is really very pretty.
Yesterdays print comes from a photo I took when we camped at Kubu Island in Botswana, it’s not a real island as there is neither a lake or a sea, but all the land around it is grey flat salty mud which sometimes holds water if the rains have been good. It’s one of the most atmospheric places I have ever stayed. The trees are very old and very contorted; in the sand around the island you can find old bushman beads made of ostrich egg shell and tiny stone tools made from moss agate. The only reptile I ever saw there was a tortoise but other people said the place was alive with black mambas….certainly Motibedi thought it a very uncomfortable place to stay and he has the Motswana sense of where is safest.
We camped in small tents taking our own firewood and water, there is as far as I know still no other way to stay there. It’s quite a well known place, and sometimes strangers would drive into the prospecting camp looking for the track to Kubu. The instructions run something like travel along DeBeers calcrete road towards Matshumo, once you pass Garnet salt pan turn right, follow the track until you emerge onto the salt pan so big it stretches to the horizon and then bear left until you reach the gate in the vetinary fence, be nice to the guys guarding the gate they have a hard and boring job. Turn north until you reach the stick with the beer cans on it and then turn east, continue cautiously across the salt pan making sure you do not sink through the surface. You will see Kubu, it stands on higher ground. They seemed aghast that there were no sign posts, no maps just a pattern traced in the sand that needed to be committed to memory.
Incidentally I just cannot wait until the whole do it yourself ethos is released onto our public services (as long as I can go and live somewhere else of course).
My mind goes back to voluntary management committees peopled with worthy people so varied in their outlook that the only common factor was they were certain to disagree. There was the religious man who picked his nose and ears in meetings(and if you are wondering what he did with it…what would a three year old do with it?), he was fanatically opposed to political correctness because of SOMETHING THAT HAD HAPPENED IN UXBRIDGE, there was the active pensioner who had brought the local tenants association to physical blows( they were all over 65!) his skill at producing dissent was unerring, there was the woman who never felt a meeting was complete unless she had regaled us with something smutty that had happened at her work and there people who said little until they decided that they did not agree with what we had agreed in detail a month before. There were people who did not turn up for six months on end and then were offended that they had not been recommended for higher office. There were people who were there to promote their professional interests and then there were one or two brave kind souls who believed in their duty to make something useful happen and did it. Those few were few then and I imagine will be fewer now as jobs become more stressful and pensions less likely to provide a living.
We could have schools for the kids who only really enjoy sport, the schools for the kids who like the social side of it but not the learning, the schools for the children who are academic and want to learn from professional teachers…Oh wait a minute Michael Gove (shadow education minister) says that’s a grammar school and not allowed, DEFINITLY not allowed.
#23 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog