size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
I appear to have a Likedin account that I am unaware of as people are asking to be professionally associated on it. This is worrying as I don’t wish to be rude to them but I don’t want another site to look after either, neither does it seem that I can check what’s going on without making an account which is what I don’t want to do. Oh frets and worries of the electronic age.
I forgot to mention a memorable bonfire last week. It was the day that things became horrible at No1 sons new school. I was very annoyed so consoled myself by lighting a fire to get rid of all the diseased stuff I have been extracting from the garden, and a little of my own bile perhaps. I was really enjoying myself when I noticed that I had set the fence on fire. The fire had travelled under the cover of some dead leaves two metres along to where there were piles of holly leaves against the bottom of the fence. Once there they had ignited a soft rotting log and the bottom of the fence. My panic was that the fire would leapfrog along the base of the hedge and kill it or the rotting boards on the fence. Luckily I got to the water butt and back in time. Holly leaves do burn well live or dead; I always looked from them when we were doing the” light a fire with two matches and no newspaper” test in Guides, I forget which badge that was for. I think it must have been the Arsonists Badge; there was definitely a badge that featured flames.
The rain finally got here as I was heating up some spaghetti puttanesca for my lunch, well it was the easier than the original version as no cooking is required: put a little virgin olive oil in the bottom of a heatproof dish add thinly sliced garlic, olives stuffed with anchovy chopped, a teaspoonful of drained capers, any fresh herb in reach +/-, tomatoes tinned or fresh Place a blob of left over spaghetti on top and microwave until the pasta is hot, stir, eat. It beats a cheese sandwich. I’m not sure I’d serve to anyone but really close friends, i.e. those who know better than to complain.
Apologies to those blog readers who like beautiful things, today I have painted dying leaves it’s a bit of a thing with me at this time of the year. I think they are lovely but they are also decaying. They are decaying after a job well done. Think Whistlers mother.
The bright red patches on the pear leaves occur every year, they are some sort of gall, on the back of the leaf there are lots of little spikes behind the red patch.
#132 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
NFS size 4.5inx 6in 11cmx15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Ah, that sense of dejavu was not for 1979 it was for 1974, there is everything to play for and it hinges entirely on how you define national interest. One thing is certain they will all act in the national interest and they will all be after a different outcome to each other.
The pears are really very funny they are so rude in their shape that they reduced two teenage boys to apoplexy.
Perhaps the elderly salt and pepper set are the Queen and Prince Phillip; oh I can just imagine them sat over breakfast this morning, reading the papers and Phillip saying, “Rum do old girl, rum do. The worst of it is you’ll have to talk to them all”, “ I know that Phillip, dear, pass the cornflakes”.
I have bought a new bottle of masking fluid as I keep turning away from pictures of white flowers and it does make them easier. Tomorrow I think I will do the Solomon’s seal; I just found out that it has a scent.
#42 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
SOLD Size 6inx4.5in 15cmx11cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Bright ,bright ,sunshiny day…..unnerving to think that such a beautiful happy child of a day is when things could really change for the worse, voting in the true blue shires only works for one set of people.
I think I will tackle the golden russet pears , something nice and solid after that froufrou lilac blossom. I have never had these pears before they really are the Jennifer Lopez of the pear world, look at those curves! Pears are somehow sexier than apples…in Brighton Pavilion there are some very smutty cartoons from the Regency period where the pear tree is full of scrotum shaped pears which some women are after, they did not mince their metaphors in those days.
Tomorrow will be one of the newest new days one way or the other, can’t say I’m looking forward to it.
On a more cheerful note one of my Tiarella plants, which were thumbnail sized when I pricked them out at the end of winter, is flowering or rather in bud.
#41 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
4.5”x6”, 11cmx15cm, watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
That completes the first four weeks of painting a day, its hard somedays and then others it just happens and flows and works.
Today’s picture is quite a fast wet watercolour the mad thing was trying to somehow express the chequered fabric without getting into masking fluid. Not that I don’t approve of masking fluid, I just don’t have any right now. The cloth is a scrap from a favourite pair of my son’s pyjamas. I also worked on another picture which is SO bad I will restart it another day. It too has a sentimental background, a handkerchief of my grandmothers. It will be better when I try again I’m sure. Paintings often are better second attempt, but mostly for the blog I have gone with my first effort.
I did one of the dullish jobs in the garden today, compost management, swopping bins over and sieving the old stuff. Dull but necessary and gets you to the useful bit the black gold. There’s just never enough so I will need to cough up the money for a load of manure this year.
There are several trees coming out now my favourite is the cherry which weeps slightly, it opens pink and fades to white against lime green foliage. Lots of bits of the lilac tree here and next door have died in the winter, it’s only now that one can tell.
#29 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
On a handkerchief with madras pattern, i.e. the pattern is woven in. It’s a very old hankie, as you can see it has been ironed and I haven’t touched an iron in fifty years I swear. It looks like a gardeners hankie to me, bought for a chap who used an old spade sharpened until it was stubby- with an ash handle of course.
The teenagers returned to their school today. No.1 son came back to tell me that his Geography teacher says he doesn’t need to write in full sentences or punctuate his work. Excuse me, isn’t it supposed to be intelligible? What’s the point of learning to construct a sentence in English if, in other subjects, any old text message type garbage goes?
#26 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
4.5″x6″ 11cm x 15cm watercolour on heavyweight Fabriano paper
I am having another go at that beautiful camellia of mothers. Then again there are some pears in the fruit bowl and I haven’t done any pears yet.
Yesterday was too busy to paint there were so many plants to rescue from the lack of water; it did not rain on me while I was away which was lovely, but then it was torture for the recently transplanted or potted plants.
I spent today trying to reduce the number of plants in pots by getting them into the ground. I then ruined all my good work by discovering a pot with some cuttings from last summer. Hoorah they had worked…some of them…now where are those pots I just emptied…..better find some fresh compost.
There really are situations in real life where you run as fast as you can and find yourself back where you started, Alice found it perplexing and so to a degree do I.
On the other hand the cuttings will be useful , two are Siberian wallflowers and all the ones in the ground gave up the ghost over winter including the variegated one I bought new last year. I grow a very strange cultivar the flowers open yellow and change to purple or the other way round, it’s possibly called Chelsea Jacket but there’s no real way of knowing as the original cuttings were labelled with two names. They came from a church plant sale. It sounds vile but in a mixed border is really very pretty.
Yesterdays print comes from a photo I took when we camped at Kubu Island in Botswana, it’s not a real island as there is neither a lake or a sea, but all the land around it is grey flat salty mud which sometimes holds water if the rains have been good. It’s one of the most atmospheric places I have ever stayed. The trees are very old and very contorted; in the sand around the island you can find old bushman beads made of ostrich egg shell and tiny stone tools made from moss agate. The only reptile I ever saw there was a tortoise but other people said the place was alive with black mambas….certainly Motibedi thought it a very uncomfortable place to stay and he has the Motswana sense of where is safest.
We camped in small tents taking our own firewood and water, there is as far as I know still no other way to stay there. It’s quite a well known place, and sometimes strangers would drive into the prospecting camp looking for the track to Kubu. The instructions run something like travel along DeBeers calcrete road towards Matshumo, once you pass Garnet salt pan turn right, follow the track until you emerge onto the salt pan so big it stretches to the horizon and then bear left until you reach the gate in the vetinary fence, be nice to the guys guarding the gate they have a hard and boring job. Turn north until you reach the stick with the beer cans on it and then turn east, continue cautiously across the salt pan making sure you do not sink through the surface. You will see Kubu, it stands on higher ground. They seemed aghast that there were no sign posts, no maps just a pattern traced in the sand that needed to be committed to memory.
Incidentally I just cannot wait until the whole do it yourself ethos is released onto our public services (as long as I can go and live somewhere else of course).
My mind goes back to voluntary management committees peopled with worthy people so varied in their outlook that the only common factor was they were certain to disagree. There was the religious man who picked his nose and ears in meetings(and if you are wondering what he did with it…what would a three year old do with it?), he was fanatically opposed to political correctness because of SOMETHING THAT HAD HAPPENED IN UXBRIDGE, there was the active pensioner who had brought the local tenants association to physical blows( they were all over 65!) his skill at producing dissent was unerring, there was the woman who never felt a meeting was complete unless she had regaled us with something smutty that had happened at her work and there people who said little until they decided that they did not agree with what we had agreed in detail a month before. There were people who did not turn up for six months on end and then were offended that they had not been recommended for higher office. There were people who were there to promote their professional interests and then there were one or two brave kind souls who believed in their duty to make something useful happen and did it. Those few were few then and I imagine will be fewer now as jobs become more stressful and pensions less likely to provide a living.
We could have schools for the kids who only really enjoy sport, the schools for the kids who like the social side of it but not the learning, the schools for the children who are academic and want to learn from professional teachers…Oh wait a minute Michael Gove (shadow education minister) says that’s a grammar school and not allowed, DEFINITLY not allowed.
#23 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog