size 6″ x 9″ approx. 15cm x 22 cm
Apologies for the (former) silly little postage stamp image it’s a problem which seems to occur at random , of course all that means is that there is some little detail on the uploading process which I miss out without realising I have done so. Then I do it all over again and it still goes wrong until finally on a new day I do it all over again again and it goes right and I still have no idea what it was I did wrong the first four times.
One of my sons was sitting an exam as an external candidate near Reading this is what I did while he was furiously ( I hope ) writing. I used to walk in those far off woods and hunt for edible fungi. Pangbourne is to the left and Mapledurham to the right on the other side of the railway and the river Thames (which is hidden).
I am also putting time into getting ready for an open house exhibition in Burgess Hill where I will be in a house with five other women. Our host artist is Suzanne Bench and she is opening up her Art Deco house as a huge gallery- upstairs and downstairs. We will be doing tea and homemade cakes with squash for children. I have had more work framed than ever before which is slightly scary. I went to a framer in Worthing who had already cut mounts for me , she was very quick and the prices are good. She also has racks and racks of frames already made up at sale prices ( left behind by the previous framer possibly) . It would be possible to spend a whole afternoon there hunting through the precut mounts and frames and finding ones which work , as plenty of my work is square it makes it easy to find something.
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!
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 8in x 6in 20cm x 15cm
Wonders will never cease to flow across the barren landscape of my existence…lovely aunt has a good report from the doctor, DIY dad has done a tip run, the town councillors don’t like the sound of new neighbours monster house development, and the thin practice nurse’s dire predictions for me turn out to be unfounded as yet, in other words I am not particually unhealthy just rather tubby.
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.
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 6″
Hmm I struggled with this. I might yet alter it and take out some of the pencil work.
Found out today that I have a relative ( daughter of my father’s cousin) who also paints and sails, now that is extraordinary as I don’t think when I sailed a lot I ever met another painter. There must be some hereditary tendencies behind our characteristics!
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.
This is a very rough idea of the colours at Sheffield park last weekend, the little sketch is a pencil sketch of the central interest. Possibly the information here and from the snapshot taken at the same time can produce a finished picture…..watch this space ( don’t hold your breath however ).
The strangest thing about this year so far in the foraging department are the wild mushrooms, the best pickings we have had this year of ceps and parasols has been this week, its nothing like last year but there have been enough to eat some and dry some.
It is a fine view and the question is will the picture end up reflecting(!) this?