click on the link to get to my Etsy shop for this painting:
There really are this many different colours in a honeysuckle flower, and yet it looks modest and subtle unlike the flowers in the photo below:
There are several things I ought to be saying but there is so much
that I really should keep to myself. This is very difficult when there is a
blog to write so I have done no blogging for a long time.
Lovely aunt has a home of her own again but there is still much to be done. She had her work
friends over to visit yesterday and took them to Ockenden Manor. There is no
point booking a Harvester for three women who have been professional caterers (
of a much higher than average standard I might add) and the Manor does a
wonderful set lunch. They had a high old time and came back to mine for coffee
in the garden. They laugh and chatter as long as they can whenever they meet it’s
wonderful to facilitate. May I grow old with such good friends.
Coming soon in the garden morning glory and the yellow lily.
Unable to avoid bragging: there were so many strawberries this year we weighed a total crop of over half a hundredweight thats fifty six pounds I believe.
size 10 in x 6 in, 26cm x 15cm
Tigridia, Ranunculous showing off in front of the origano. These are a trial planting in a pot which is what I do sometimes to work out a bedding scheme. This one is really very easy, into prepared soil plant a bag of ranunculus corms and some tigridia bulbs, allow to grow, buy sunglasses and enjoy. Buy in bulk online and this is a very economical blast of colour.
#175 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
size 6 in x 8 in 15cm x 21cm artists soft pastels on cartridge paper
Today I looked at the devastation the frost had produced in the garden and the devastation that the boys had produced in the kitchen and in disgust I went out with a neighbour to Sheffield Park. No way to run a household I know but sometimes you need to get out. There was morning glory in the sunshine but morning misery hung resentfully on the house wall it had been - 3 degrees centigrade.
The frost had clearly caught the gardeners out at Sheffield Park too, the Gunnera was not ready for winter, the giant stems stood still but the enormous leaves hung like umbrellas broken and half melted. At first in a frost when the temperature is still low the tender plants look fine, then the sun gets to them or it warms up and the frozen leaves turn to seaweed and darken like so much wilted spinach.
I took a small sketch pad and did a pastel of one corner of the top lake. It was a mess but it held the memory of the scene long enough for me to make this version when I got home. I also sketched my neighbour and that sketch was pitiful. The patches of colour on the water were great rafts of brightly coloured leaves which had fallen with the frost. Many trees had dropped a carpet of leaves the Ginko had not got its full autumn colour but many of the leaves were down on the path.
When I got back I rescued a few more plants and checked to see what we are due tonight, nothing quite so dreadful, the dahlias can wait a day or two. We have got used to damp mild autumns that stretch beyond Bonfire Night but this is not going to be one of them. Luckily DIY Dad has finished the heating.
#146 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
NFS size 6 in x 5 in 15cm x 13cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
The morning came wet and dull; I took my boys to the station and to school and parped the in-laws on their way down to the station.
Then I had a very mixed day of cooking and shopping for food, trying to light my bonfire again and cutting down Berberis bushes which are getting too crowded. This isn’t as therapeutic as it could have been as it revealed a lot of scrawny brambles that had been sheltering underneath. I also started pruning out grotty branches on the pear tree. More air for next years crop.
I painted some fresh morning glory as yesterday’s had shrivelled up, and had a look at some other painting a day blogs. I started to key the apple I was sure was a Cox and it came out as a Christmas Pearmain, I think. Or a Manningtons Pearmain whatever that is. It tastes very nice quite sharp and Coxish.
Tonight after some protracted arguments with No2 son about the exact meaning of current and resistance and whether the central heating analogy was worth thinking about (plumbing is still on DIY Dads mind),we decided to bite the bullet and start moving stuff from the room where everything went during the build project. I found among other things an Art Nouveau vase from my grandmothers (I remember her bringing it back from a jumble sale coated in black muck) and four sable brushes along with a steel rule, a boxwood rule and some Indian ink. I consolidated DIY Dads kimberlite collection (as in a bit of every kimberlite pipe he ever found). This released two big cardboard boxes but the place still looks like a bomb hit it. It needs to be clear so that the ceiling can be skimmed. Although the builders did not work in that room they managed to trash the ceiling, mainly by falling through it, and we are sick of looking at the patch.
#136 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Two more mystery apples
Morning glory -
NFS size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
I went back to look again at the trees in the community orchard to choose five significant trees to concentrate my efforts upon.
I starred five trees to look at. Today I tried to key out a knobbly looking green apple. It has the look of a Codlin or a Catshead and in fact it has the internal structure as well. I also worked on a pretty red eater which seemed to come out as either a Lady Hollendale (very obscure) or Ingrid Marie, I am inclined to the Ingrid Marie which is a Cox descendant which was used to breed Elstar. I begin to realise that apples are like thoroughbred horses they can all trace their lineage from a handful of famous forbears. Ribston’s Pippin begat Cox’s Pippin, which begat Ingrid Marie, which begat Elstar. Ribston’s pip which was grown into the tree was brought from France ( Cox’s Orange Pippin is really at least half French !! Its lucky the Mail doesn’t know about this, I can sense everlasting damage to patriotic pride would result)
On a different subject, there has been a beautiful full moon, I was waiting for some bad nights as last full moon some big moths got into the house and then as the moon shone on the window at night they bashed themselves against it trying to reach the light. Now, after I let them out, what did they do? I have to presume that they would continue flying towards the light source, the moon; as they got higher and higher at what point did they stop? Do they fly upwards until the cold air saps their energy? Does it do them any good? Hmm.
The tomatoes which came in from outside were beginning to show signs of blight. The recommendation in a magazine was to heat them to 40 degrees centigrade for twelve hours. I tried to do this in the dessicator. The temperature control was not perfect; however I have to report a partial success. Rather than seeing the healthy looking green tomatoes fill with blight just before they ripen, the tomatoes are mostly ripening. Where there is some blight development it has clearly been contained in patches and is not romping through the fruit. This gives one hope for the method.
My painting today is of the morning glory, it will not be for sale yet as it may have a taker already. The morning glory plants are now in full flower (they were sown very late). There are three colours and they are great every morning as long as the night has not been too cold. I have also found that the buds will open for several days if a stem is put in a vase.
#135 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
size 8 in x 12 in 20cm x 30cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
There are two sorts of fungus, no three, there are those that are interesting because you can eat them, there are those that are interesting because they look extraordinary, and then there are the bbj’s (boring brown jobs ) that are just not interesting in any way, well not to me.
It’s like bird watching, the bbj’s are quite common but owing to their nondescript brownness they are at once boring to look at and difficult to identify. I did a lot of bird watching when I lived in the prospecting camp in Botswana (there was not a lot of entertainment laid on), but I knew that I was not a serious twitcher because I couldn’t be bothered to nail all the boring birds just to increase my list of sightings. I was more than happy to take a daily look at the pair of white faced owls that lived in the knob thorn tree over the tent, and to follow the squabbling buffalo weavers soap opera type existence lower down the same tree. I likewise know my limitations with mushrooms.
Returning to fungi, today I offer a painting of the beautiful sculptural ceps, they boast spectacular curves of the sort mostly found on women with large hips and bums. The photograph is of the more sinister and lumpy boletes that were in the lawn. These come up every year but there are more this year. Thinking about it they would have made a good subject to catch the eye of the judges for the Threadneedle prize had they been growing on an urban dual carriage way.
#124 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
These would grace the mantelpiece of Fungus the Bogeyman, I had to remove them as they were big enough to trip over and the lawn mower would have been ill on them.
These are DIY dads DIY new tomato varieties.
It looks as though someone has inserted a pink LED into this one.
this painting is framed and for sale in the burgess hill open house event see blog June 4th
size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Just so you are not worried by the numbering; I made a mistake on the numbering of paintings while I was away , therefore the picture of the monastery in Croatia has been renumbered as# 117, it was previously #108.
Rain, it just isn’t stopping, it is slowing for a while and then starting up again. There seems to be a chance that there will be some almost dry weather over the weekend…please let that happen as I want to have some time to enjoy the garden again. At the moment I am going out and getting wet and muddy even to pick a handful of tomatoes. I picked six today and we ate the four from yesterday…we are self sufficient in tomatoes!
There are some late flowering treats, the cyclamen are getting started, the relocated ginger lily or Hedychium is in bud, the Canna lily is shredded by the wind and rain, and some late sown morning glory are growing like they mean it and the first beautiful purple trumpet opened today. It is scrambling up with a very vigorous Cobaea Scadens which hasn’t flowered at all yet. Having looked it up to see how to spell it, I see that it is in fact perennial but only half hardy….will it like being cut down and put on a window sill overwinter?
Today’s painting is of the last three Victoria plums which came from A & R’s garden at the weekend. They do actually look Victorian in their colouring all those heady purple and red dyes that they discovered and loved to use). I decided to put them on a little Staffordshire saucer.
#118 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog