Archive for the ‘Water colour’ Category

Beachcombings or three stones, two shells and a predator.

June 24, 2015 Leave a comment


Watercolour approx. 15cm x 15cm or 6″ x 6″


This is my first post painted this year …dreadful, I have done very little if you don’t count assisting with laying a patio and having shingles. There are other things but I will not dwell on them.

I have always picked things up on the beach and have done a couple of paintings in the past from the items found. I will run a little series here of beach related stuff to get the feeling of long hot summer days going. Later in the year I am going sailing again and may even manage some pictures from there. Meanwhile the garden is fabulous (not neat, not tidy, not weed free, just a lovely place to be.

This year I have grown some dwarf roses from seed, Rosa chinensis “Angel Wings”- turns out they are much smaller than Rosa”The Fairy” so I am wondering what they will be best suited for …if in doubt put them in a pot seems to be the answer-although small they do smell nice. I have also got a couple of Nepeta govaniana which should produce a wonderful cloud of primrose coloured flowers…I just hope it isn’t as attractive to the local cats as catnip it’s blue flowered cousin. I started some convolvulus and have never seen such sickly plants….how they can be related to bindweed is beyond me , bindweed has had no problem with the weather this year.

We went to visit a garden recently which boasted 60 roses , asked how many there are here I thought about 15, but then I counted and found that I have bought or been given 18 roses that are still alive and I have planted 20 Rosa rugosa to make a hedge, add to that the 18 roses that were in the garden when we came here, and the twenty tiny seedlings (cheating I know) I have nearly 80. The best ones this year have been Etoile d’Hollande-scent to die for, Treasure Trove which is finally getting to work climbing up an oak tree and Rosa de Recht (Portland Rose).


Autumn colour bling

November 10, 2014 Leave a comment


5″ x 7″ approx A5

These pompom dahlias are so bright it almost hurts the eye. I sketched them last week- it was so mild they are sitting on top of the stove which was clearly not needed. I was lucky enough to be invited to pick some of the seasons end prize winning dahlias by one of the best allotment holders.


October 19, 2014 2 comments



This was a lousy photo of a sketch- lousy because light levels are low. I have fiddled with it digitally and it helps a little with my rather bad sheep…my excuse is that they kept moving and that I did not have very long, the landscape was lovely though, it’s such a patchwork of colours.


Pembrokeshire-Newport market day

October 1, 2014 2 comments


7″ x 9″ approx

This sketch was done during a coffee break in a tiny coffee shop on the street where they hold a small market in Newport Pembrokeshire. It is a beautiful place and many thanks to friend and friend of friend who made it possible for me to visit. Thanks too for the patience of the other coffee drinkers and Ted too of course. There were lots of lovely things to be had in Newport….Cawl a lovely rich homemade soup served with bread and cheese in the pub and the pollack mackerel, crab and lobster caught and swopped by other people in the house.

The aspen leaf in the wrong place

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment


size 7″ x 9 ”

After noticing that I did not like the position of the aspen leaf in the previous sketch I sat on the banks of the Seine on the next day and sketched this aspen leaf so that, should I rework the landscape picture, I have a reference for the leaf. People in the house in Pembrokeshire liked the leaf as is.

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Been Away…came back.

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment


size 7″ x 9″ approx

There is an odd way in which it is sometimes easier to do the best things on holiday……I think on the whole it is the lack of computer and kitchen + garden + children distractions that help.

We went to Normandy and then I went alone to Newport Pembrokeshire.

In Normandy we went to two gardens Giverny and Chateau Canon about three hours drive apart but so different. Giverny is stuffed with flowers and visitors and I do mean stuffed. There are crowds of five or six drifting across the Japanese bridge all the time. The only quiet places are those not photogenic enough to attract the groups taking photographs of each other with a Monet painting backdrop in the style of a wedding photographer. “Could we have the couple, in four poses, best friends can join them now, can we have the friends on their own now, one with the tour leader perhaps?

Best quote of the day in an American east Coast accent” I don’t know what language you are gabbling at me in, but I am not listening to any of it!”

Talking to one of the gardeners I discovered that they operate on multiple plantings: they empty the beds in November and plant up with tulips and spring stuff all quite short then in early summer they replant and later they supplement with a rich mixture of Dahlias, Tithonias, Hibiscus and so on; the grassy bits are full of Colchicums variety Waterlily featured of course! There were lush salvias of the Mexican sort and the brightest Solanum I had ever seen. *

It was far too hot and crowded to paint there, I did try but it was hopeless. However at Chateau Canon the atmosphere was calm and tranquil and the garden has progressed since we last visited, then things looked precarious after the Boxing Day storm had brought trees crashing through the walls. It is a garden made during the transition from French formality to English romanticism, the best part is a Chartreuse- a series of interlinked walled gardens which were built to grow fruit. There is still much to restore but it is beautiful. I have never seen such gorgeous rainbow trout 18 inches long in perfect clear water.

The picture is of the view along a decorative canal towards a rope bridge, they have a children’s farm and mini parc-cours along with tree houses you can stay the night in- the higher up they are the more they cost to hire! This last part is all new to us and very popular but as it is away from the gardens it does not affect them.

I should never have added the pretty yellow aspen leaf it does not compose.

* added later: Solanum wendlandii from Costa Rica I think, its showy in a good way.

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.

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




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