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Something in the post……….and something rich and strange

August 20, 2014 1 comment

 

This is rather nice, an old lemon has been accepted for the Annual Open Exhibition of the Society for Graphic Fine Art in London. It’s a sketch in ink and wash I did last autumn after taking lovely aunt for a jaunt to the coast at Shoreham in Sussex; it was a very stressful time as lovely aunt was becoming quite ill by that stage but she still enjoyed herself and pottered around the market entranced by the best stalls. The peppers were originally posted in April this year as I did not have posting time last autumn #218. http://lemonaday.com/2014/04/07/dry-orange-chillies-on-the-table/

The exhibition is in the Menier Gallery where they used to do something far more worthy…they used to make chocolate, sorry I am being silly they actually raise money to get art into hospitals. The exhibition runs 6th October to 18th October 2014.

Now for the rich and strange…this is not my definitive take on Begonia Escargot but I enjoyed making it especially the textured wash background as it involves several interludes for tea or coffee while the paint dries under clingfilm. #229

 

229ba

A few days in the North

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment

 

228b

 

size A5
We went to Yorkshire for a few days- not exactly a holiday more a family outing extended for several nights. Diy Dad drove in his familiar, gritted teeth into the storm ( ex hurricane Bertha ),fashion. His father and I took turns navigating the various traffic standstills, passing through places I was only familiar with from the miners strike on the detours.

Aunt A, with help, had ordered a magnificent “cushion” of stuffed lamb from Mr Kendall her favourite butcher who had delivered it to her door. This we cooked and when the extended family in the area plus two Spanish visitors turned up it was demolished in short order, I wondered what the Spanish take on stuffing would be but they loved it . The apple crumble I made with crumble mix, blueberries and windfalls brought from home went the same way. Our cider went all over the table…too much excitement for one day.

We slept up on the moor in a remote house where diy Dad’s cousin lives; it is a beautiful place the wind whips across the moorland and the rain comes down only slightly below horizontal…caught out in it you need to find a vertical object for shelter rather than something actually over your head. The adjacent grouse moor is littered with feeders and there are hundreds of grouse as well as red-legged partridge…but the grouse do not often make their sharp g’back g’back call when you flush them from the heather. My memories from the other side of the Pennines forty years ago is of fewer but noisier grouse but who knows if I have an accurate memory-there is no going back to check.

The following day we took Aunt A in her wheelchair to Fountains Abbey and as the boys disappeared at great speed up the path towards the water gardens I began to regret putting too many things in my art bag and sat down to sketch. In doing so I missed out on tea and scones at the head of the water gardens but got to have a little wander round Fountains House which is small but perfect.

This is one of the sketches; I was taken with the two windows on opposite sides of the tower which I guess are identical. I drew what I saw but looking at it now it can’t be right unless the building is not symmetrical. I still like the offset clash of the two versions of the same thing.As I drew it I tried to break it down into manageable observable sections. A proper architectural artist would have a better knowledge of the structure and it would look more real as a result. However I am pleased with the effect of the two patterns overlaid even if the far side would be unbuildable from what was observed and recorded. It could of course be reworked into an etching, drypoint or collagraph.

 #228

And again a bit more………….

August 7, 2014 1 comment

227a

A5 size

I have put a bit more detail and boosted some of the colour. mostly it has been about filling in the background.

There are so many things in this border…Crocosmia, Sedum, Alchimilla, Stipa, Rudbeckia or Echinacia

Then I added to it……………….

August 6, 2014 1 comment

226a
size A5

This is partly worked up I will need to consider one or two bits and tweak them. There is a certain amount of what some people call knitting that needs doing. That loosely means bits where there is something that needs filling in or covering and its fairly routine but needs to be done in a routine manner without spoiling the good bits of the initial sketch.

I did get to Great Dixter yesterday and enjoyed it immensely. They are all so lovely there; I didn’t recognise a Salvia and they went and found out what it was and whether they had it in the shop. We had a long and interesting chat to one of the stewards and when I saw another plant I did not recognise at all the head gardener went to see if he could dig some up for me from the greenhouse floor, sadly it had been pushed out by the hardy begonia! I did a sketch there in charcoal which I have added watercolour to today and also done a piece based on a begonia leaf which I washed over with textured watercolour. It is more of an illustration piece than a sketch or a painting but it’s fun.
#226

Green Parsley Flowers

July 31, 2014 1 comment

224a
size approx. 9″ x 7″
The flowers were in a vase and I was sketching them at the exhibition at Nymans but , being in rather a cramped corner I realised I had nearly flicked paint onto an art work of mine which I was trying to sell and I stopped painting!! The flowers came from my garden and having picked the stars of the bunch: Penstemon and creamy white roses, I needed fill and had none until I noticed that the parsley had gone to seed and was a lovely yellowy green a bit like Alchemilla mollis. The shapes in the flowers are lovely too . I finished it off in the studio just now.
#224

Nymans 2014

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment

222
size A5, 5″ x 7″ approx

This is a watercolour sketch of one of the gates to the walled garden at Nymans a National Trust garden in Sussex UK.I was sat only 12 metres from the main path but on this side path it was quiet enough that a mouse or vole was carrying her litter of babies across the path one at a time to (presumably) a better home in the long grass to the right of the path. As I say it was very quiet until two German tourists noticed me and decided that the view must be worth a photo if I was sketching it- so he went and stood in front of the gate and she came and stood right in front of me until she had her shot, not a trace of an excuse me! So rude!

The reason I went was because it was the sort of day when it was threatening rain and there was space in the car park. Due to the new charges at Wakehurst Place many people are going to Nymans instead. This is a shame as it is a much smaller garden with a more intimate scale and too many visitors would make it difficult to sit down and sketch or appreciate the garden so well.

Going back to the sketch it has a schoolgirl error in it …can you see? I will need to do some work in the studio on it or make a copy; I also need to get some opaque paint to put in the cream roses growing over the gate….or do a copy. It has a nice feel however.

Social Services

May 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Written mid May:-The most extraordinary thing happened a week ago or rather eight days ago. I had a phone call from Social Services …they rang in answer to my call about my aunt, 31st December 2013. So I was being unfair in saying that they never return calls -they do eventually. However four and a half months to return a call seems pointless. I told them that I had assumed they were simply ignoring us and of course that there was no longer any “us” to ignore ( poor woman seemed shocked but this must happen often the way they are operating). If you are old and ill much can happen in four and a half months, you could fall, get worse, get bored, so could your carers, you could go completely mad-so could your carers or you could simply die.

We are looking at an illusion of a service, in theory there is a service but if they are this short staffed they will spend a disproportionate amount of time fending off work which they are not ever going to able to do and rush the rest, carers will spend a ridiculous amount of time chasing them up and all for no result. Publish a leaflet entitled, “Save our time, save your own time-don’t even ask”. Really it seems logical and honest, it could be used to cover hospital discharge protocols as well.

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