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 6 in x 8 in 15cm x 19cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper Fabriano
I really am quite surprised with myself, one hundred little paintings today, I should be celebrating but as I haven’t finished my picture yet and it’s really late I doubt I will. To put the icing on it a picture sold today, the tiny red poppy one. I do like it so I will send it on its way a little sadly. At least with modern technology everything is photographed and I have a record; in the distant past I once walked into a person’s house, admired a picture only to be told it was one of mine! I had forgotten all about once it left my care (Yes it was deeply embarrassing, in fact my stomach is curdling now thinking about it).
I picked the last of the currants today with help from No2 son, just over twelve ounces. While I was on the allotment I begged these lovely fresh peas from a neighbours plot. The tendrils are perfect. I put some plants in, late of course, but then theres a chance of rain so they might hack it.
It seems like there has been some rain today- until the rain gauge is checked and that shows we have been lightly sprinkled with water droplets- not rained on at all. The soil tells the same story, it’s rock hard.
I think my wash will be dry now, so I will finish there for the night.
#100 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
To puchase see the link to Etsy below:
7″x6″, 18cm x15cm, watercolour on heavyweight rag paper.
These are alder catkins and the painting did not really flow very well at all, for a while I thought it looked like something I would have done for a weekend’s homework at school, however it does show the mad colour that I found in the catkins which are hard and unopened…purple! I had never noticed this before; the alder trees grow on the edge of the school playing field close to the bed of the underground spring that makes our allotment a sodden mess in the winter. I actually think we should get some sort of rebate as when marshland rushes start self sowing and growing strongly on your plot it is telling you that it’s not ideal for fruit and veg.
This whole area is heavy clay and I mean heavy, when we first came here I couldn’t believe what was six inches under the surface …it looked like pure clay to me , to find out I dried some and then fired it in the barbeque in a tin can….it turned into little black bricks… so very pure clay indeed. One day I intend to build a pizza oven with it.
#4 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog