size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
There are several things report today DIY Dad has started again in earnest and has told me firmly that I must expect to listen to rambling useless diatribes about plumbing and so on. I thought I was just here to cook the food and do the washing.
Given the weather was actually rather nice I was finding it very hard spending time indoors looking at depressing breezeblock walls with remnants of 1960’s decor peeling in an unromantic fashion.
The solution I came up with was good. I suggested a walk to look at some of my favourite fungus sites. The boys were promised ice cream and a bag of crisps. They complained bitterly but under sufferance they did come, muttering and threatening retribution. In the woods we found that there were no chanterelles or ceps but that the hedgehog mushrooms were beginning to fruit and we found two nice birch boletes and two very small beefsteak fungi. I photographed them before stir frying them.
The boys got their ice creams in a village shop and I got my Saturday paper, their humour improved on the walk until they had got back to being the boys we had on holiday.
On the way home we stopped for a drink in a pub overlooking the village green and then went on to the DIY store . Husband was in seventh heaven, fungi, beer, and a DIY browse all crowned by catching the car getting to 90,000 miles on the way back……and it still keeps going.
I had another go at reworking the picture of the beautiful Benedictine monastery in Mljet this time I put in the boat which takes people out to the island.
No2 son has been very informed and pretty clever, he has found and set up a new web-site on which I can sell work without a time limit. Its being called the lemonaday shop and will feature old pictures from the blog and other work that looks like it fits in.
#120 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
size 6 in x 5.5 in 15cm x 14cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
This picture was actually done yesterday but what with the swimming and the KFC afterwards I was in no fit state to get it posted, besides which there was rampant DIY going on.
I did not like the tiny canoes in the original painting so left them out in this one.
#119 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Sibenik the passage ,reworked#1
size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Sibenik the passage, f irst sketch
This blog covers the weekend just gone there were several painting that I did but did not get a chance to blog as there were so many other things competing for my time and my blogging partner with the technical expertise.
The humanist non-wedding preceded by a civil ceremony has been and gone. It occurred to me that it must be more difficult to get through saying your lines when you have written them yourself because they are much more personal. I was very pleased with my dress and the green toenails, the non-bridesmaids were spectacular in shocking pink polka dotted dresses with black feather fascinators and netted gloves. The **ide (look I avoided the b-word as requested) had a dress by Vivianne Westwood which was gorgeous; the material twisted and folded into the shape of the body but had a magic effect once on. It was both modern and grand Edwardian in one object.
There was a lot of wandering round the Essex village from house to Parish Hall and finally back to our B&B in the Old Police House; it was, unlike some villages, quietly busy: an artist in the street accepting a commission, a bus turning outside the house, a butchers, a bakers and some other shops, people stopped in the street talking, cyclists making their way slowly to the allotments. I think the atmosphere is so pleasant because it is the end of the road; to continue east from Tollesbury you need a boat.
No1 son had a lovely time as he has decided alcohol is interesting, it was not till various people had reported back to me that the full picture emerged. Reports of Pimms added to fruit cup, glasses of wine filched from tables behind my back and glasses of red wine downed in one that I got close to an idea. He held it remarkably well and lived to eat five puddings that evening. Oh well he might put on some weight.
No2 son also had a lovely time but it was more to do with finding a wealth of friends and family to tease and run around with.
DIY dad did the barbeque the next day and got to inspect the magicians body cut in half act from the stage. He couldn’t work out how it was done and the temporary assistant was not giving any secrets away afterwards. We started to pick the Victoria plums in the garden as some were dropping , our pears are now ripening at the speed of light and need eating, drying or freezing. The early apples are starting to tumble off the tree when you go to pick one. In Essex they had had a fantastic crop of greengages which made me jealous as it is one of my favourite fruit. I need to spend half a day on fruit preservation.
The pictures here are two sorts , firstly there is a picture of another fungus that has sprung up and then there are some reworking of the view from the quayside in Sibenik. I sketched it in about five minutes while waiting for the bus quite early in the morning, there is a sea passage between the two islands which leads out into the Kornati archipelago. I liked the original sketch for its atmosphere but felt the reflection was in the wrong place. I have made about four attempts to rework it I will publish them even though none of them are definitive.
I am going to finish for now, but just want to quote a couple of things that came up at the wedding:
Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.
I loved this and felt it very apt for A and R the non-bride and not quite groom who got married at the weekend.
Someone also quoted from Leon Rosselson’s song, using it to say that things had changed a great deal from the seventies, I remain to be fully convinced of that, however it’s still a great song:
So don’t get married, girls, it’s very badly paid
You may start off as the mistress but you’ll end up as the maid
Be a daring deep-sea diver or a polished polyglot
But don’t get married, girls, for marriage is a plot
Strangely I once sang it on stage with an American singer who moved away to my now husband’s aunt’s town where Aunt Sue hired her to sing at her fortieth birthday…. the world is smaller everyday.
#114 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Eyelashes, as of today there are fewer than ever; that is because I woke up this morning with a clump of plastic lashes missing in the bedclothes, others were diving off in odd directions and some were bent out of shape. The overall effect was completely insane, I can be a heavy sleeper but I did not know I was heavy on the eyelashes as well. Sadly, I decided to have a bath and remove them, sadly because from certain angles they were really rather jaunty and sweetly curved. Removing with solvent them took a while and made me realise just how difficult it must have been to stick the blighters on. They need to be stuck to your own lashes but in my case the lashes are both short and very pale so hard to find in the first place. In the business of removing the fakes I dislodged a few real eye lashes….damn it they are an endangered species. Incidentally in case you think I am exaggerating, the falsies are the shortest in the box and they are about three to four times longer than my lashes. The next time I feel the need to remind the children that life is not fair I will be doing so with a slight self pitying catch in my voice.
I have been a very poor blogger this month, there have been days when I been busy with school holiday type things, days when there was no option but to be ill or look after the sick and I have also wanted to sort my pictures out. The second file needed organising for the second hundred pictures, it’s astonishing how long it takes to number a load of plastic sleeves and get them all in a lever arch file ready for the paintings. I could easily have done a painting with that slot.
The space where the door into the downstairs loo used to be, has now been mostly plasterboarded, a cupboard will fill the space where the short corridor once was and I am very excited, any increase in storage space is a bonus in this house which has a real lack of built in cupboards. Well for a pair of china, tool and equipment hoarders with children it is inadequate. It might have been fine for the previous occupant. Our last house had three built in wardrobes and they were well used.
#113 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
size 7 in x 9 in 18cm x23cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
The time today has flown by, it tends to when you are having a spectacularly rotten time. The nasty bug has been coming and going for some of us, which means it’s impossible to know from one meal to the next who will be able to eat or what they might manage.
This was all, fortunately in a way, broken up with my brother’s belated fiftieth birthday celebration. He came south and so did my sister which was lovely. We spent some time discussing exactly how we used to break into the house when we didn’t have a key…it involved shinning up a pipe above some hard looking concrete…I’d read the riot act if I caught my kids doing it- which just goes to show I’ve turned into an old hypocrite. The window’s changed now so even a child couldn’t get through it.
In the middle of the mass vomiting outbreak I noticed that the pears were ready to pick and that the birds had also noticed this fact. I started picking last Thursday and got some help by Friday. There are about 35 pounds of good pears and another eight or so of damaged fruit. The pears have to sit inside until suddenly the yellow tone brightens under the red streaks and they sweeten and soften. We can’t possibly eat them all; so some get given away and some go in the fridge to delay their ripening. Some I will dry in the dessicator as they have a very strong flavour and are good dried. The damaged fruit have almost all been cooked either in a crumble or stewed in red wine with cinnamon, sugar and cloves . I will freeze some for future crumbles and/ or my own favourite chocolate pear pudding, an upside down sponge pudding. We think the variety is French, Precoce de Trevoux, it is the strongest pear I have ever tasted having a real affinity with the yellow and red pear drops we all adored as children. The apples are ripening very fast so lots of them need distributing to relatives, friends and neighbours as well.
This picture is of the view across the sea lagoon from Babine Kuce in Croatia, the house is rented out in the summer we were told. I have only just remembered to make the final changes to this painting so it has not been blogged before. I started it on the same day as the view across the lake to the monastery, it is the view looking the other direction from the view of the village and moored boats.
We have a wedding coming up …clothes shopping with teenagers oh horror horror horror.
111 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
NFS Watercolour, size 30cm x 15cm
This is the view from the second place we stayed. The sea really was this colour, I am not putting this picture on eBay as I want to keep it for myself. I may even try and work it into an etched image, it would be a companion piece to an old set of plates which are pigs to print but give a lovely image of the seaside. However I am going to put some of the other pictures from the holiday on eBay to start the ball rolling again.
This painting makes me think of the people at Karbuni, little Prijam with his astute questions, Darka and Mary who were so kind.
I have my little bouquet of wild rosemary and other flowers which was a parting gift. It’s about thirty years since a friend told me how beautiful his home island was and now I know what he was talking about.
In the meantime I am going round removing dead stuff from the garden, I have a wheelbarrow full of deadheading and weeds piled high.
The fruit trees have filled out massively and are now drooping down with the weight of the apples and pears. The early apples are ready and the pears are almost ready to pick.
I am amazed at how well the flowers have survived but I have a very good neighbour, who has watered the pots and the beds.
The dahlias are good, the potentillas are making a fluffy bank of deep red. My best surprise is the Eucryphia which has a mass of white poppy like flowers. Next year when it grows beyond the damage caused by the snow last January it will be magnificent.
Some things have struggled but on the whole things are great. The first flower has come on the herbaceous clematis I grew from seed…… It’s only taken three years, I reckon it should be grateful that I have an occasional patient streak.
Getting back to a garden after a while away is fascinating things may well improve, houses merely get dustier and fusty.
That’s it I should be home surveying the shrivelled remains of my garden. It might have rained but I hear not.
Dubrovnik was amazing but much too busy and hot to paint besides I was far too busy people watching. The national income must go on outrageous shoes and underwear good enough to be on permanent display due to the slashed /shirt length dresses. They all spent ages being photographed sitting in poses borrowed from Page 3. Asking when the icecream parlour closed, we discovered it was 2am!!!!
This is a working sketch of Babine Kuche.
#108 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Looking back to Mljet from Dubrovnik.
This is the view from the Mali Raj restaurant where we had an amazing meal of traditional roast kid with vegetables.
The previous day I had sketched the view over an expresso break.
At the moment I am sitting in the shade outside the Orthdox church in Dubrovnik recovering from the walk round the walls.This place is all steps but very beautiful . There are huge numbers of tourists here and if I came again I would make sure it was earlier in the year or autumn.
#117 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
http://www.lemonaday-shop.co.uk/gallery-shop size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm pen and wash watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
A peaceful day:
I am still in Mljet in Babine Kuche it is the epitome of a Mediterranian fishing village. Steep stepped lanes lead up to tiny houses, the sea is a landlocked lagoon,palm trees line the road along the quayside.
I did three paintings today, first the lemon, then the view of the monastry on an island in the lagoon from the cafe,then the view of the villa across the lagoon. While I did this I sat on the sea wall with my toes in the water. A fish with stripes and blue and orange splashes went along the rock edge.
#107 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
I am still in Mljet, I have seen lots of evidence of flowers which have finished, tiny alliums, muscari seedheads, Nigella seed heads. Last night I was woken up by the biggest thunderstorm which started with a ferocious wind and huge drops of rain. Several women emerged in their night clothes to rescue towels and swimming clothes. Luckily it was still dark as my night dress blew up round my ears in the wind.
Tonight a cat climbed up the trellis and then landed splat on the table…..before the food came luckily. The thought of a beautiful dish of fish with scrawny cat face down in it did not appeal .
This is a five minute beach sketch of a ferry on ar small island.I will rework it later as there are some nice things going on in the foreground.
#106 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog