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.
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
8in x 6in, 20cm x 15cm
The tally of barbeques got to five before colder evening temperatures forced us indoors on Monday. Lovely aunt was having a lovely time sitting out and enjoying the sunshine and flowers; this painting is a quick sketch of her in a silly sunhat. The pear trees and apple blossom are all coming out. The tulips have completely trumped the daffodils now and are magnificent, there are some that are short and tiny, some that are taller and double, I still like my pinkish ‘New Design’ tulips best.
Last night, unbelievably, the first asparagus was ready to cut-twelve small spears which were sweet and delicate.
size 4.5 in x 4.5 in 11cm x 11cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
I had a very aggravating day with appointments flying around being delayed and changed. I had another look at the Esperanto tulip and did a quick sketch looking into it head on.
I also went to the allotment looking for asparagus but as it has been both cold and dry there was little to pick. Everyone whose potatoes were through was bemoaning the frost damage. The leaves had turned dark and wet looking. I do not know if these frosts will do for the apple crop most of the apple blossom is fully out only one tree has finished.
It is going to be cold again tonight they say although we have had a little rain.
#47 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
size 9inx6in 23cmx15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
I tried this tulip in the bed I took photographs of a week or so ago. It requires a pink tulip with a striped leaf. This is all of that but it does not work as the pink is just a little too far into strawberry mivvi territory. The only one I have found so far that works is New Design. There is a candy striped one which is too harsh.
Anyway I have painted it ,on its own it is a very pretty tulip and perhaps I should buy more and use them where they are not arguing with the pulmonaria. It’s a type of tulip called viridiflora most of them are interesting because of the colour breaks which streak the petals.
And then there was the political situation, a result for the LibDems? Yes, a result for the country….I have my doubts.
#46 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Size 9.5inx7in 25cmx18cm watercolour on fabriano paper
Well I nearly did not get this anywhere near to finished …in fact it might not be finished yet.
This is a go at doing the challenge on Rookie Artist where anyone can do a picture based on a photograph put on the web once every three weeks. The photograph was of yellow tulips growing in a pot which I cropped heavily.
Next I will have to work out how to send the photo over to them, here’s hoping that it’s not too technically challenging. The tulips are quite new so there is only one challenge posted so far. The site can be found at http://rookiepainter.blogspot.com/
I found it a bit strange as I almost never work from photographs as I do not like the results , I think I can tell if I have worked from a photograph and I do not like the look. With this I have played god and moved bits of leaf around to improve the composition. I also added rather more stamens than were in the photo as I felt it gave the picture more focus.
Here is the photograph uncropped:
I missed a trick the shadow of the tulips low down is really striking.
It rained most of today so apart from scragging a few weeds I did very little apart from discussing household renovation with himself (I am trying not to call it DIY anymore ).
#38 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday size 5inx6in 13cmx15cm watercolour on heavyweight rag paper
Today I found three more fuchias that had stayed alive over winter bundled in bubblewrap on the front porch. There were one or two other things that might be alive, if given the luxury of a drop of water. I suppose the point is to be pleased about what has worked rather than think about what could have been saved with a bit more organisation. Sometimes Bacopa survives the winter in the right place but not this year. I also used to keep the grey leaved foliage plant going (helichrysum). Still my mother usually overwinters that by her backdoor so I can borrow some. Next year we might have a greenhouse and all sorts of things will over-winter under the benches.
It makes huge sense to overwinter some of the stock plants for the pots as that way you start with bigger plants that are FREE. Also you have the measure of each of them, will it really trail or will it give up half way through the season? Things like the Erigeron Profusion or Mexican Wall Daisy are good as they fill in and are white with pink which means they go with lots of other colours, they are as happy in pots as in cracks in the pavement or trailing down hot sunny walls. They can be grown from seed and once you have a happy plant, you will be certain to have some new ones come up each spring, it’s then just a question of remembering what they look like when small and not weeding them out. I also keep a clump of stripy grass or Gardeners Gaiters in a pot; it is very invasive in a bed and hard work to remove but in a pot it is fresh and lovely and only needs cutting down once a year in midsummer to stop it going messy. It works well with other stuff planted among it and provides foliage fill for free.
The other bit of the garden that is taking off is the strip of roof garden over the log store, there are buds of Dryas Mountain Avens nodding in the wind and one Lewisia has made it and is getting on with flowering seriously. The dwarf phlox is purple with flower and the night scented phlox is about to open its first flower. I need to go up on a ladder though as I can see weeds getting a grip too in the gaps. It was so seriously dry up there I put water on it today; the top end was looking dessicated.
I have done a painting of some tulips today.
#36 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog