This painting has been framed and is for sale at Burgess Hill Open Houses see blog for June 4th
This is a more pleasing composition …but not right…I feel like I need to deconstruct all my equipment , clean it , buy some new brushes, get new glasses or something …not sure what.
Collected a large quantity of silver chard from the allotment today and rhubarb again, there were two little shoots of asparagus. last weekend I cleared the bed of all shoots small and large so that it could be cultivated. I made a vat of asparagus soup as they were mostly short or misshapen.
I was very put out to find that the planning officer does not consider the loss of sunlight to our house and garden important…if the new neighbour builds what he wants we will lose so much light and warmth from the winter sun and our view will be decimated. We will literally be overshadowed by their monster extension front and back. getting sun into this garden has been the biggest challenge as it was circled with overgrown trees and hedges when we moved here now something permanant and ugly may sit between us and the sun. Worse the people who want to take the light say they intend to be our new neighbours…how will that work in practice? I prefer to get on with neighbours even ones who are different to us but what does one do when the new people have taken something precious and beautiful about ones home before they even move in? It is always best to avoid neighbourhood disputes but it is very easy to see how they can take hold.
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 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.
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.
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!
size 4″ x 6″ 12cm x 15cm approx.
These are the little slices of dried cep which make the most fantastic soups, sauces and scrambled egg possible. They are such good quality, being home made , that a slice can be crumbled into scrambled egg just before serving or even just eaten as it is. They have none of the stringy dirty look of the commercial dried cep you see in the supermarket and elsewhere. I like their shape too – an angular folded version of the slices which went into the dessicator.
We have collected about eight kilos of cep in the last ten days, most has been dried as the crop can never be guaranteed and I would hate to run out.
SOLD to another mushroom hunter!
size 5in x 5 in, 12cm x 12cm approx
I went with no1 son, who is very fond of mushrooms for breakfast, to see if anything had come up…There was, as the day before, nothing… but on the way out of the woods I nearly trod on this little beauty. The little side one is often pictured in German and Polish illustrations, not to be outdone I painted it.
No2 son has cooked his goose over a stuffed chicken thigh recipe for food DT (that is what they call lessons in cookery at school in the UK now). Having made all the effort to buy his raw ingredients I then spent the evening reminding him to get it all prepared for the morning.” Don’t leave it to eleven o’clock!”, I said, not thinking that he would leave it until 8.15 the following morning…I was out of sorts for everything , late, furious and forgetful. Boning out chicken thighs in the morning hustle when I could have BOUGHT ready boned had I not been told to get them bone in is so far from my idea of fun there will be consequences for this.
#185 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
The runner beans and french beans are coming in now, in the mixture are Red and White beans, Jack Edwards, Selma Zebra and some golden mangetout peas.
Lovely aunt thinks that this painting makes the beans look like evil spotted worms! ” Oh . well.” she said,” keep trying someone might like it!” The point being that if I paint on the spur of the moment I paint what is to hand , not a cute cat because it should sell, not a local view which could be of interest to the village dentists waiting room, just whatever is catching my eye in the time available . In doing this the things that end up in the painting follow short threads which break and reform as life tumbles forward. That, if you like, is the philosophy of this 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
This is as much painting as I have done this week. its a bright posy of flowers from the supermarket: roses , carnations and phlox.
Lovely aunt did one of the same vase , DIY dad went back to work after mystery illness and No1 son and No2 son hatched a plan to get the password which locks the computer from us; this involved a mini video camera and a reasonbly plausible storyline. Treasures.