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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.