Home > Water colour > Cactus and Bilbergia

Cactus and Bilbergia

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 .

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  1. Susan Atkins
    April 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    “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.” At first I thought you were describing teenagers – in fact – on second third and fourth reading – I am SURE you are :)

    • April 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Am I wrong?Actually I have to confess that all reference to teenagers is entirely unconcious and unintentional….you know me if i aim to be rude i am fairly straightforward about it.

  2. April 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    A wonderful painting, so pastel and vibrant at the same time. Well done you. :) Really have enjoyed finding your blog.

    • April 19, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for that!

      • May 9, 2012 at 1:41 am

        Don’t you just love Wyntour Gardens??? I can get lost there just touching and sienlmlg all of the beautiful plants, well not the one you chose of course!!! But an hour spent at a garden nursery is just sooo relaxing!!! Hope your garden is growing with abandon!!!! My Peonies are up and they have blossom heads on them already, I can’t wait to take picture and of course be intoxicated by their heavenly smells!!!Blessing to you and yoursCurtis

      • May 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

        Dear Murat,

        Sadly have never been to Wyntour Gardens or California for that matter!I will put it on my “get there before its too late” list Cheers Alison

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