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).
This is the sketch I completed yesterday at Oakleigh Cottage near Heathfield. Well I almost completed it in situ. I filled in some of the gaps when I got home.
The garden is one acre and in several different parts. It has a new highly impressive irrigation system run from a borehole, DIY Dad was in his element. He likes drills of the handheld and the lorry load variety and boreholes are modest sized drilling projects. The horticultural interest is varied; pretty drifts of daffodils and frittillaries , startling yellow marsh marigolds and some giant bamboo which is competing on almost equal terms with an oak tree.
I have had to go onto my third file for the blog as this picture is 201 (100 paintings per file). It is also about two years since I started blogging so I have obviously not managed a painting a day more like one every four days on average. Still, to stop would seem wrong.
size 6″ x 6″ 15cm x 15cm approx
There, I finally did another painting, I started it yesterday evening and luckily got straight back onto it after breakfast this morning which would not usually be possible. The rest of the day has been swallowed up in other peoples trips and visits and unexpected double bookings. Then just as I was actually doing something useful getting stuck into a bramble root, the new neighbours walked through to the back of the house and stood there calling me over as though we actually knew each other. I say the new neighbours, they could be the developers who wish to double the next door house in size taking masses of our sunlight. There was rather a lot of emphasis on their neighbourly status which has made me wonder why they feel the need to stress it. They have not moved in and tell me they will not do so until after the summer……he presented a card and tells me he is a builder. As most of the builders I have met since we moved here have lied to me in an accomplished and persistant way I am feeling very nervous indeed.
Spots on a spherical object are a challenge. I feel they are too prominant in this picture but the idea was to get both the spots and the bloom, which dark plums so often have, on the page. Its a bit technicolour, I am having a really bad run of not liking my paintings. I did one in oils and, while I enjoyed the smell, I was outraged by the result- too horrific for the blog.
I do think this is a painting which is flattered by the scan and the screen. Honestly it is worse in real life.
The garden is on a roll, the Daphne bhuloa is nearly finished, the D. odora is opening, the small daffodils are all out and some big ones too. There are hyacinth, the honey smelling Osmanthus blooms , and even the first forget-me-not. The little camellia which I bought is still tiny but this year it is covered in blooms…single small white blooms with a whiff of pink. There are flower buds on a tree paeony which has never managed a flower yet, I can live in hope on some fronts. Dogstooth violet and foxtail lilies are poking through the ground so its possible they will reflower and flower respectively and establish themselves in the shady part of the garden.
The corner of the garden planted up two years ago( I think )is now a tangled mass of self sown Verbena bonariensis, Geum and bronze fennel; but look inbetween and underneath…. there are brambles germinating, twitch grass lacing and ivy creeping. There are also masses of Hypericum seedlings which I pull out on sight but am losing the battle with at the moment.
Talking of lacy effects I was passing a municipal bed on a slightly misty but bright day and there was a bed with wonderful spires of creamy lace erupting everywhere…winter ornamental cabbage going to seed - it looks fantastic.
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
4″ x 2″ 10cm x 5cm approx
Another in the leaf series. Took a walk today inthe woods , wonderful sunshine cutting across the landscape and reaching right into the woodland. It was warm enough to lift the scent of the Daphne bhuloa allowing it to drift along paths and avenues from where it called me like a siren might a sailor. Silly to plant it next to the wintersweet with its less exotic smell I thought, a mistake I have also made -I realised as I got home.
detail of “ Lemon yellow and pink, leaves.”
These are the leaves of one of the lacecap hydrangeas , there is something quite surreal about their pink flush on lemon yellow. A painting which is larger than most of those in this blog, it measures :
22cm x 30cm 9″ x 12″ approx.
These are the best blueberries I have ever grown. The secret is to keep the perishing birds off without netting the birds and perishing them.
this painting can be bought from ( apologies for photo on ETSY page there is a glitch):
Beetroot in a bunch
22cm x 15cm, 9″ x 6″
There is very little time in the day when there are so many plants to water and crops to pick, I do not try and grow beetroot as I am the only person besides lovely aunt who really likes it, so these are bought and no less pretty for it.
The allotment has peas and beans in astonishing variety at the moment, diy dad has dug out his early carrots and the maincrop carrots are coming up. I have a forest of flat leaved parsley in the salad bed and the first tomatoes are ripening. The first autumn cyclamen is out as well….excuse me but the proms are only just begun, cyclamen???
This etching has been framed and is for sale at Burgess Hill Open Houses see blog for June 4th
Day One hundred and seventy six,
Took lovely aunt with me on my trip to Gallery 26, Field Row
Worthing, she visited a friend she has known since she was eighteen and in her
first job outside London, the war was still on. Her friend is in a care home
where they major on the food and fuss made of residents and their guests, they
get a sherry every day before lunch….I should be so civilised!
Gallery 26 are showing some
of my prints for the next week.
Afterwards we stopped for
five minutes to look at the sea but became distracted by the lithe tanned men
working on their kite surfing…lovely aunt was full of questions about this
and was treated with great kindness by one of them who explained how it all
worked to her. She wondered if it was something I would like to take up….I
was very amused…but if it had been invented in the 1970’s I would have been
very tempted ( by the sport I mean), it looked like the next best thing to
being a seagull gliding on the wind. The sea smelt so good and the sun was
strong . We then went on to find a picture framer who also turned out to be
lovely, what a nice place Worthing is!! It was just what I needed after reading
the obituaries of someone I had been a surrogate aunt to when he was a kid. I
really hate it when people die young.
No2 son has sold almost enough modified game controllers with
extra flashing lights to get himself a flying lesson, he seems a bit young to
be soldering and running his own little business but it seemed only sensible to
look for some accounting software for him…..pinch me someone that’s my baby
boy. No 1 son is off to Suffolk for a few days.
Am already beginning to tire of podding broad beans but I still
love my six foot high peas plants. Courgettes doing well and squash, something
‘Toscana’ are overdoing the productivity -will need to thin or they will all
expand and pop each other off the plant.
Here is a picture of a print that missed the exhibition but that I
really like framed up. It is a Hayter print the second pull through the press,
I love it. It’s called Pale Windflower.
Basket with Salvia patens grown from seed.
#176 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Click here to bid size 10in x 6in, 26cm x 15cm
There is a collision of spring and summer in the garden at the
moment to the joy of anyone who likes a “splash of colour”, and the despair of
the person who is trying to make a colour scheme that works without too much
last minute tweaking. Lovely aunt is enjoying it…but she is moving soon so will have to come and view when she comes over for coffee.
The last of the Narcissi are still clinging to the stems that bore
them like so much paper. The tulips are also over the parrot here the very
last. Most years the artists houses in Brighton’s Festival have a brilliant
display of tulips lined up for May Open Houses…they will have finished before
the first house inspector crosses the threshold, sorry art enthusiast.
In flower now are:
Roses (mostly hedging and climbers)
Erigeron ,the wall daisy. Many lost in the winter.
Candelabra primula ( had a hard winter)
Veronica trailing and gentianoides
Thrift or Seapink
Love lies Bleeding
I could list the weeds too as they are getting on with it….but it’s
#174 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
8in x 6in, 20cm x 15cm
The tally of barbeques got to five before colder evening temperatures forced us indoors on Monday. Lovely aunt was having a lovely time sitting out and enjoying the sunshine and flowers; this painting is a quick sketch of her in a silly sunhat. The pear trees and apple blossom are all coming out. The tulips have completely trumped the daffodils now and are magnificent, there are some that are short and tiny, some that are taller and double, I still like my pinkish ‘New Design’ tulips best.
Last night, unbelievably, the first asparagus was ready to cut-twelve small spears which were sweet and delicate.