This is 6in x 8.5in approx 15cm x 20cm approx
I get this orchid to flower once every few years it is scented and rather strange; there is something of the night about it. I found it for sale in, of all places to buy interesting plants, ASDA( or Walmart in the UK for international readers)! I bought two to decorate the house I was selling, the other orchid, a pretty coral pink, died years ago. This one seems to manage on the benign neglect I bestow on the rather more common moth orchid. The painting is drawn at about life size.
I am too nerdy for my own good , of course it felt silly to own an orchid and not know its name….so I googled “maroon green and purple orchid” and came up with: Zygopetalum Louisendorf from the images or rather I picked up a slightly similar Zygopetalum and then regoogled it. Oh the joys of infinite information…or rather information tending to infinity.
Saw the wren today looking busy…something I should be!
Click here to bid size 12in x 7in approx
The winter seems gone; today there was an air of spring about …everything really. Even Clapham Junction felt as though something had lifted. So of course the weather man tonight after the news has to smirk and offer colder weather later in the week and beyond that a possibility of more snow. Hmm I dislike turning into the sort of old person who bewails the snow rather than enjoys it…but I feel we have had quite sufficient for now thank you. It was only yesterday I was congratulating myself on the amount of wood left in the store; there might be as much as a third left to help with next winters supplies if it stays as mild as it has been. It is midnight now and I am sitting up typing wearing just a T-shirt and it’s not unbearably cold.
This painting, strictly speaking, was a two day painting, however as I was out of the house almost all day today collecting lovely aunt from her holiday in Suffolk and calling on mother as a bonus I have justification in calling it a daily painting, well a days painting. I am not at all sure I like it…I like bits of it. It would normally at this point be put away for me to think about but as there is a big gap on the blog where the paintings should be, it is going public.
Using the same sort of warped logic that applies to “Embarrassing Bodies” on TV, here’s a picture I would cheerfully hide from myself -now watch me put it where anybody can see it . DIY Dad, who is having something of a Revival in DIY enthusiasm at the moment, thinks I am a pathetic perfectionist , he can’t see anything wrong with it, No1 son says its “OK really, no really I do like it” No 2 just reminds me that anything I do ( at all ) is crap. Not in so many words or those exact words ( he’d be fined if he tried that-again). Which averages out at “ No Comment” pretty much. As the person who has the casting vote I come round to sticking it on the blog but pretending it’s in a cupboard and ignoring it for a safe period after which, by magic, I will be able to tell if its good or not or at least spot the mendable parts and then reassess. Hopefully.
#196 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
size 5″ x 5″
I have been drawing and not painting and also plotting some work outlines for this year. Honest.
At the weekend I went to an auction which was fun if a bit slower than I was expecting. We were only successful on one lot but it was MY lot so I was quietly pleased having spotted a wire rack which can be used to store fresh prints until they are ready for drying in blotters at the end of the printing session. It will also store the consumables i.e. tissue and newsprint for the job in a compact way. It is the sort of thing that can cost over £100 bought new and if this one has been used it was lightly.
Here is a tiny sketch of a vase in which some camellias from mother’s garden are opening out. I also had permission to cut some of the beautiful pink scented Viburnum bodnantense.
#188 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
This painting has been framed and is for sale at Burgess Hill Open Houses see blog for June 4th
size h 7″ x 6″ 17cm x 15cm
There has been a long gap when I have written and painted nothing. In my defence it was Christmas and then I was ill.
Christmas approached and as always the creative life was swamped by the mundane. There were presents to make, cakes to make, cards to send, lovely aunts social life to mend and her medical needs to be addressed, husbands dumped friend to console, and then there were the floors, the loos and the bedrooms which all needed my attention-in addition there was still the shopping and ordering.
I have a major difficulty with being ill in this household and it’s to do with timing; ideally being ill should be a solitary activity much attended by concerned (healthy and vigorous) loved ones, that is in my dreams. Now my husband seems able to time his occasional bouts of man flu so that he is able to announce to the world, work, and his closest relatives that he is really ill as he collapses sideways onto the red settee with the remote control. He varies his illness by retiring to bed with a book on Greek Naval Warfare or the Odyssey and calls for his basic needs, conversation and fussing whenever he feels like it. This continues until he is fit enough to get up and go back to work….protesting that he is not yet fully recovered ….he then comes home and collapses sideways onto the red settee with the remote and is exhausted. He is of course excused household duties until he is at least a little better i.e. well enough not to want to come home from work and collapse sideways onto the red settee. I may be imagining this but it is possible that his episodes of ill health tend to finish when he has exhausted the recorded episodes of Startrek, Frost and Lewis. This Christmas holiday he must have been truly unwell as I found him watching a recording of a Harry Potter film followed by two of the Narnia films. I am quite worried however as we were given a swanky new set top box at Christmas which is much more effective in recording whole series of programmes and has a HUGE memory; thus we will soon have every single broadcast episode of Frost etc .
I got ill first this year for a change and by rights should have been able to collapse gracefully onto the red settee etc. etc. But I mistimed it badly, I started to get ill on Christmas Day and having found out on that morning that we were to have 13 at lunch the next day I was forced to battle on. There were arrangements in place for the day after Boxing Day as well -eight for lunch. Note to self , do not volunteer to entertain three days in a row at Christmas or at any other time. The last day was fine as there was woodpigeon pie ready to go in the fridge which we had with bubble and squeak made from left over mash and sprouts with chestnuts. Once all people had gone home and I felt able to actually be ill as opposed to falling asleep in the middle of things, I was overtaken by diy dad who, having done enough diy to empty all the cupboards in the house, caught my chest infection. Of course he was worse than me and needed attention, as he recovered No2 son came back from a days shopping with the winter vomiting. We have managed to contain his personal pandemic this time ( his best being 11 people infected)and the only person who has succumbed this time is …well of course its me.
6in x 9in 15cm x 22cm
That is the trouble, woolly mind woolly paintings. I mean to be honest I have just had to spell check the word woolly…when did it aquire two ‘l’s and why does it need them? It did look a bit lost with only one.
Half term has been and gone and I am looking at the garden on a daily basis trying to keep the screams silent….where did all the weeds come from and how did the growth start so soon after what seemed to be a harsh winter?
Day One hundred and sixty four - NFS size 6 in x 7 in, 15cm x 17cm
I am seriously out of order here, where is the point of a content free blog? My one fan has noticed the absence of content. I have apologised.
I have spent the last month and more trying to sift through all the complicated bits and pieces that are necessary to make life as an octogenarian passable, no it’s not me ,I am not secretly eighty, but the lovely aunt is. Without effective glasses, using an unmaintained hearing aid and with unpredictable holes in her memory my aunt has struggled. This is made worse by stress and stress she has had by the bucket load, that and quite a lot of isolation in a nice bungalow with snotty next door neighbours on the edge of a smart cathedral city. Give me a grotty location with some sparky neighbours every time; culture is great but feeling comfortable is a lot more important.
However lovely aunt enjoys a bit of classical music, used to go to the Proms in the fifties and sixties before it was ever televised, we have started to find the culture that is available in deepest Sussex. Surprisingly there is quite a lot. We have been to a recital in a church with the most wonderful cello playing.
DIY Dad sank to new depths last night, as I did a dreadful sloppy painting, he took the combination microwave apart on the kitchen table. He found the faulty component and triumphantly waved the circuit board at me. He thinks he may be able to mend it….by the way the general advice is don’t do this at home children and certainly not on the kitchen table because there are parts of the circuit on a microwave that store 4000 volts of power…I think that would kill you, or him. You would not believe the complications of circuit and component inside a microwave…but then it can cook a chicken and brown it in twenty minutes which is more than I can do with any normal oven.
No2 son has a number of projects on the go, one involves the new curvaceous beauty in his life whose pneumatic curves disport themselves across his bedroom floor, I look in last thing at night and have found them entwined sleeping happily…sorry I did say it’s an inflatable canoe didn’t I? He is planning trips to explore several local waterways once his sprain is healed. He badly damaged an arm in the school gym…the teacher still wants a note to tell him about the injury that happened under his nose and resulted in No2 being sent home for a trip to casualty ( I had my story ready as it was the second arm injury I had taken there in a month). The other project involves building a laser “gun” from laser pens…….this seems creative but dangerous beyond my childhood experience. I mean I knew someone whose older brothers made gunpowder and blasted holes in the bottom of their garden, but I never did it myself.
Lovely aunts friend C. invited us to Battersea for paella, I only ever had indifferent paella I discover, hers was fantastic I ate till I could eat no more and then we got stuck into the coffee and brandy. This little carnation is for her as I think carnations are one of her favourite flowers.
#164 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
This painting has been framed and is for sale at Burgess Hill Open Houses see blog for June 4th
size 6 in x 10 in 15cm x 20cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Life or the ongoing maths test that masquerades as life is changing. There was frost on the windscreen back and front this morning. The plants do not seem to be affected so far. Just to be on the safe side I brought in the most tender fuchsia “Thalia” and some Echeverias and the Baster Kobus which comes from Namibia and will probably cope with quite bit of cold but not damp cold. The Kalahari is surprisingly cold at night in the winter, seven or eight blankets and a husband were not enough. We used to wedge the baby between us on the coldest nights, for his sake- not ours obviously.
For todays painting I have changed the background by using a yellow pillowcase; I wanted the daffodil sky look. It’s not there yet but the colours Gauguin used are clearly findable in my world. It is very easy as a Northern European to get bogged down in drabness. I remember a painter in Cyprus, Neocles whose painting were the essence of a sun drenched day on the beach and looking at my painting realising that I was still on a non- Mediterranean dull palette. It took a conscious effort to do a painting in a better colour set for the climate. I was working in oils there as I had the space in a barn of a rented house on the Green line. Being on the line reduced the rent a bit (not enough to compensate for the Turkish Commandos crawling through the back garden one night after the Cypriots had nicked the Turkish flag on a stormy night for a laugh….well they were only kids, teenagers with large guns ….probably only a year older than No1 son, which is a very scary thought.) A full international incident was avoided because Panikos who was very short and very goofy was on guard that night, I asked him what he had done when the commandos climbed out of the dry riverbed into my garden, “ Shit I was scared” he said” I put down my gun quietly and I hid, they crawled off that way” he pointed downstream. Thinking about the spending cuts he could probably teach the British Army a thing or two about how to get by without using any of that over expensive ammo stuff.
I think the Government should simplify and declutter…stuff all the complicated spending cuts that pick on the employed middle class parents and the sick and unemployed, the coalition has already shown they can break promises with aplomb, just put up Income Tax and keep it dead simple, but put the resources into checking up on the people who hide income and dodge tax (like the occaisional MP ). No, we haven’t forgotten.
#145 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm pen & watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
So I finally went to town to sort out a bit of money transfer malarkey for No1 son. His grandparents wanted to move money they are saving for his illustrious future from one account to another. I discovered two things:
One: He would not be able to access his money without a passport. As he has never signed on the account before they had no comparison on the signature. My word as his mother was of no interest to them. Without a passport they tell me they would keep the money forever…..a new form of taxation? If you desperately needed your money and you were at school with no bills or anything in your name, you certainly wouldn’t be able to fork out the eighty pounds + needed for a passport.
Two: they have without a signature or any declaration started taking tax from him as though he is earning more than £6000pa (I wish) Other institutions assume that school children are non-taxpayers and send a form to fill in- in case you are liable. That seems more reasonable to me.
The best thing in the garden at the moment is a delicate Kniphofia, common name Red hot poker, mine is not as tall or chunky as some and it’s not red either; more of a luke warm poker. It is a plant from my phase of collecting apricot coloured flowers in order to have a lavender and apricot border. I struggled to make a viable bed due to the lack of a backbone species of long flowering habit. It is easy to get that in a pink purple or a white. The Kniphofias are splendid but brief ditto the apricot Irises. Apricot Diascias are small and tend to the pink end of apricot, I bought a Jacobs Ladder which said it was apricot but it was blue. I think it needs a group of really good repeat flowering apricot roses and work out from there. Mrs Oakley Fisher looks very promising. She has just produced a shoot with about ten small buds.
The honeysuckle is another linear subject so I have done it in pen and wash.
#99 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday. size 6 in x 4.5 in 15cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
I am going to compile my list of the top ten genera or plant families that form the backbone of the garden for me, then I shall see if there are gardening forums out there who beg to differ.
I think I have to start with the roses:
1) Rosa or roses
3) Penstemon, important as they take you through from June to October
4) Papaver or poppies these are just such brilliant show offs, but delicate with it
5) Clematis I think I have nine different ones and there are more that I want( like the one in that mans shopping trolley in the supermarket)
6) Lilium or lilies I don’t have many at the moment that that could be changed at the stroke of a key on the computer this autumn,the ones I have I have had for ten years and I love them they are regaining strength again after being dug up three times in four years.
7) Narcissus or daffodils and jonquils etc
9) Allium they steal the bed in a way little else can do.
10) Lonicera or honeysuckle this is a canny choice as it can give you hedging plants climbers winter flowering shrubs and summer flowering shrubs.
11) Lavendula sorry I can’t leave this out.
This list will need revising….
We did not go to the allotment today. I went to the market stall in Burgesshill and today I painted this pear, the white peaches will maybe do tomorrow.
#74 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog