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
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
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
Day One hundred and seventy one
size 6 in x 8 in, 15cm x 21cm
Today was beautiful. There were no appointments to make, the sun shone and I got some weeding done. I bumped into people in town who could do each other good once they were introduced and I had found that one needed to practice Spanish and one needed to practice English. Lovely aunt was happy and to cap it all DIY Dad got to incinerate food outdoors for the first time this year. We sat out in the garden and watched the sun set as we waited for the food to be cooked. A crescent moon emerged among the peachy coloured cirrus clouds and a bat flew high among the oak trees before the light had even half gone.
This morning I saw at least two brimstone butterflies, possibly a holly blue and later a large brown of some sort. I pulled seedling grass from the garden beds and probably thirty seedling of Hypericum , the garden is infested with self sown Linaria, Aquilegia, Geranium pyrenaicum, Prunella, Verbena bonariensis, Salvia, Verbascum, willow, as well as the usual docks, nettles, creeping buttercup, wood avens and forget-me-not. I leave the forget-me-nots and verbena and some of the others but the Hypericums have to go as do the sedges that sprout up everywhere.
The painting is of a strange fruit , I have never eaten it , I will tell you its like next blog. It is certainly colourful.
#171 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Size 6inx4.5in 15cmx11cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Sorry missed a day, couldn’t be helped, I needed to sort a print order and other things… like washing.
I will attempt a study of a horse chestnut or lilac flower. Both are lovely but it is difficult not to make them look over frilly.
Discovered some golden foliage plant which has survived the winter in a pot a creeping jenny I think. Now have a pretty decent collection of plants for planters over summer. At the weekend we bought two plants of Omphaloides for the shady area…what a brilliant name I think there should have been a Womble called great grandfather Omphaloides. One is supposed to have mauve and white striped flowers and the other is a brilliant blue. It’s yet another relative of the forget-me-not. The two colours look good interplanted but the first thing to do is to find out if it can cope with the heavy soil. It saves money on bulk buys if they curl up and die and I’ve only bought two from garden sales.
I made a cracking soup from the tough and damaged asparagus, just chopped it up into slices and boiled it in ham stock , strained off the liquid added milk and lots of chopped chives and the very few good bits of asparagus cut up, thickened it with a little cornflour. No2 son ate some and then asked what went into the soup I make at Christmas….” mmm, I like that”…. as it involves cream, brandy, woodpigeons and ceps he’s not about to get it anytime soon.
I tried both but the lilac worked best, I was short on time due to visit to A&E with No1 son.
#40 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
FOR SALE ON:
7.75″x6″ 19cm x 15cm watercolour on heavyweight rag paper
This is the middle plant of three hellebores which came as a free offer with a plant order, it is a lovely pink with a hint of peach. Actually I nearly did not get them, the company tried to fob me off with a substitute ….begonias corms…..excuse me but where do begonias come equal to hybrid hellebores? I complained and they said that if I reminded them the following year I would get my hellebores….I don’t know quite how but I did remember and have a glorious row of three which have now self sown for the first time. One is tall and white, one is green and double and this one is as you see. It flops in water a bit. Another theme to try again. There is also the big job of teasing the seedlings out of the ground and potting them up so that they all get a chance.
#8 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog