This is 6in x 8.5in approx 15cm x 20cm approx
I get this orchid to flower once every few years it is scented and rather strange; there is something of the night about it. I found it for sale in, of all places to buy interesting plants, ASDA( or Walmart in the UK for international readers)! I bought two to decorate the house I was selling, the other orchid, a pretty coral pink, died years ago. This one seems to manage on the benign neglect I bestow on the rather more common moth orchid. The painting is drawn at about life size.
I am too nerdy for my own good , of course it felt silly to own an orchid and not know its name….so I googled “maroon green and purple orchid” and came up with: Zygopetalum Louisendorf from the images or rather I picked up a slightly similar Zygopetalum and then regoogled it. Oh the joys of infinite information…or rather information tending to infinity.
Saw the wren today looking busy…something I should be!
This painting has been framed and is for sale at Burgess Hill Open Houses see blog for June 4th
This is a more pleasing composition …but not right…I feel like I need to deconstruct all my equipment , clean it , buy some new brushes, get new glasses or something …not sure what.
Collected a large quantity of silver chard from the allotment today and rhubarb again, there were two little shoots of asparagus. last weekend I cleared the bed of all shoots small and large so that it could be cultivated. I made a vat of asparagus soup as they were mostly short or misshapen.
I was very put out to find that the planning officer does not consider the loss of sunlight to our house and garden important…if the new neighbour builds what he wants we will lose so much light and warmth from the winter sun and our view will be decimated. We will literally be overshadowed by their monster extension front and back. getting sun into this garden has been the biggest challenge as it was circled with overgrown trees and hedges when we moved here now something permanant and ugly may sit between us and the sun. Worse the people who want to take the light say they intend to be our new neighbours…how will that work in practice? I prefer to get on with neighbours even ones who are different to us but what does one do when the new people have taken something precious and beautiful about ones home before they even move in? It is always best to avoid neighbourhood disputes but it is very easy to see how they can take hold.
They are a good example of where you get by using too much watercolour paint on a painting. The background does the right thing but the chillies are spoiled by a surfeit of red paint…they have no back lighting from the paper below the paint and look dead as a result. The background seems to curl up at the top rather as well.Rats,try again.
Had a lovely trip out with lovely aunt to see her friends in London.
Fabriano paper, size about A5
size 12in x 6in, 30cm x 15cm approx. copyright alison warner
This is a stick of rhubarb, it looks a lot like a strange tree with a pink trunk.
It was delicious and pretty to eat, forcing seemed to bring out the redness. It is hard to classify rhubarb, it is treated as a fruit in the kitchen, but is a stem so it is really a vegetable; not only that, it is a vegetable with poisonous leaves which have to be removed before cooking. I wonder what would happen if you sliced it into thin pieces and stir fried it with other vegetables….in a savoury dish would it be tasty or inedible?
Hm ( I just googled for recipes) there are savoury recipes out there for rhubarb but mostly it looks like they are using it to replace orange or apple or plum as a combination to offset the fattiness of mackerell,duck or pork. Wikipedia also points out that it was not used as fruit until sugar became cheap enough to cook with on an everyday basis. In the middle ages it was exported along the silk road and very valuable as a medicine ( they must have set great store by its laxative properties apparently- it was more valuable than opium or cinnamon).
Size 12in x 6in 30cm x 15cm approx
Cacti and succulents are very odd and there it is, they just are. They belong to the awkward squad and as such specialise in sharp points, razored edges and irritant hairs. The shapes are elemental, often harsh and then they flower; the flowers are soft and bright or as in the case of these flowers coloured like a school tie with a sugar rush-but always in complete contrast to the plant that bears them. One of the old gardeners on Gardeners Question Time ( either Fred Loads or Bill Sowerbutts ) when asked about cacti as house plants said, ” the really useful thing about cacti is that they take a very long time to die”; I have one which I am pretty sure has been dead for five years but it has such a thick covering of spines you can’t see the plant inside anyway-its as pretty dead as it was alive -not many things you can say that about!
This picture was done a week ago over the bank holiday at my in-laws they have a lovely conservatory which is full of plants especially cacti. I could have worked my way round the long window-sill drawing one after the other but there were other distractions (chocolate and slow roast pork shoulder).Various alterations were made to the computer over the holiday and several of the bits I use went awol so whatever I have painted I have been unable to blog (fume).
The Allotment is leaping away at the moment ,asparagus almost ready to cut and rhubarb knee high…the one we forced lifted its bucket a foot off the ground .
size 8in x 6in 20cm x 15cm
Wonders will never cease to flow across the barren landscape of my existence…lovely aunt has a good report from the doctor, DIY dad has done a tip run, the town councillors don’t like the sound of new neighbours monster house development, and the thin practice nurse’s dire predictions for me turn out to be unfounded as yet, in other words I am not particually unhealthy just rather tubby.
This is the sketch I completed yesterday at Oakleigh Cottage near Heathfield. Well I almost completed it in situ. I filled in some of the gaps when I got home.
The garden is one acre and in several different parts. It has a new highly impressive irrigation system run from a borehole, DIY Dad was in his element. He likes drills of the handheld and the lorry load variety and boreholes are modest sized drilling projects. The horticultural interest is varied; pretty drifts of daffodils and frittillaries , startling yellow marsh marigolds and some giant bamboo which is competing on almost equal terms with an oak tree.
I have had to go onto my third file for the blog as this picture is 201 (100 paintings per file). It is also about two years since I started blogging so I have obviously not managed a painting a day more like one every four days on average. Still, to stop would seem wrong.
size 2″ x 2″ 5cm x 5cm approx
This is tiny, the snail shell is tiny and fragile, it is the sort that appears on the chalk. We are not on the chalk, but there are pieces of chalk and flint to be found in the garden soil….have to have been brought here whether by nature or man, I am not sure but I do wonder about ancient iron workings as sometimes I find bits of slag-iron. Perhaps there is enough calcium on the surface to support chalk loving weeds ( which we also have) and snails. I shall look for one of the stripy snail shells as they are very pretty close up. This is the 200th picture in my series of so called daily paintings. My mother predicted that it would become a burden if I continued with one a day, it has been important to relax about not being perfect both in the execution of the pictures and the production of the pictures. If I had not embarked on the concept I would probably have some paintings to show but not 200 wildly varied images that I do have.
The blackbirds first nest in a small evergreen has been abandoned- or robbed; it was sitting on the nest but now the nest is empty- it was well within reach of the fox and the cats which are more common in the garden than five years ago. The best and most successful nest site for the blackbirds does not appeal to them until the Clematis montana has plenty of leaf. There are still roving goldfinches in the garden looking for seeds. They have had most of the remaining fennel seeds and I have cleared the Verbena bonariensis stems as they have suddenly started to bring me out in a nettle rash.