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Archive for May, 2010

The darling buds of May – a painting a day

May 19, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday. size 4.5″x6″, 12cm x15cm, watercolour on heavyweight rag paper

It’s a quote of a quote, the title of the book by H.E. Bates quotes Shakespeare :

 Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May | And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Must have been a spring like this one where you fear for the delicate buds of all the good things to come.

The hawthorn is also called May or Mayblossom or Mayflower. It is supposed to be bad luck to bring a branch inside but I am going to call this a sprig or a slip and see if it doesn’t bring me good luck instead.

Incidentally my spell check is querying Shakespeare’s use of English!!

There’s a bit much detail in this I may need to come back to it. I have altered two previous blog painting because I just can’t stop myself from doing it.

Alison

#54 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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The first rose bud – a painting a day

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday.   size 6 inx6in15 cmx15cm watercolour on heavyweight rag paper

This was a mixed up day it felt warmer which was good, it looked like sun then it looked like rain and then it kind of did neither.

I am still chasing appointments which is very annoying.

I picked the best looking bunch of asparagus so far which was good and only two days after the last lot.

Looking round the garden it is about to hit the early summer stage and pass out of the late spring stage. The first flags or rather Bearded Iris have opened, I won’t paint them as they have a bright white splash on a strong purple base the contrast is a bit absolute for my painting style I think. The first hardy geraniums are opening , Geranium sanguinum or the Bloody Cranesbill one flower, , Geranium clarkei several flowers and the mad , Geranium pyrenium alba is about to burst out like a firework there are enough flowers open to say the fuse is well alight. It’s not really mad but it likes it here so much it grows twice the size it grew in the old garden and I have to treat it like a weed as it self sows everywhere

I got up the ladder to look at the roof garden. There are plenty of plants ready to give it a go and invade up there, mostly they are testament to how much the birds like scuffling around up there…currants, strawberries, hypericums, cotoneaster and rowans all have seeds which make bird food. I discovered an extra Lewisia over the one I thought had survived and found a small bit of Pulsatilla another one I thought had died. There is a very pretty alpine hardy Geranium up there deep magenta as pretty as can be , I will try and remember to read the label and photograph it. There are several Penstemon smallii which is not really an alpine and a hairy Salvia which should come out as it’s too big for the space.

The bed is two years old I think , we got the plants from Ingwersens nursery just before it closed and got fantastic help with choosing alpines to survive on a roof. They only charged£ 2.50 per plant  and threw in some gone over alpine bulbs to boot. Most of their recommendations worked we have lost one pulsatilla one libertia and a couple of Lewisias but I think that’s because I put them in too upright. Well thats what Roy says and he’s a retired professional.

The beginning of early summer…a rugosa rose bud, Roserie de l’hay from the rose hedge.

Alison

#53 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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Columbine deep blue – a painting a day

May 17, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday.   size 7.5 inx 4in 19cmx11cm

Today I recovered from the weekend; I also went round the edges of the flower beds in the front garden and excavated the mess a rat had made of my compost bin area. The wretched creature had found it difficult to get into the plastic composter so it had burrowed under the concrete pavers that it was sat on sending them squiffy and opening up cracks through which it had presumably got compost to eat. I will have to put a harder mixture under the slabs or I could coil up the remains of the boundary barbed wire to make it harder to dig out. I heard of one farmer getting desperate and making concrete full of shards of broken glass to stop rats trying to chew their way in to his feed store. There must be rats and rats because I usually do not have much trouble with the compost, ie a plastic composter bin does the job but when people start to talk about rats in places where there is a lot of food stored it’s unbelievable , they will try and chew through cans of food I am told.

While I was going round the edge of the flower bed I cut this columbine or aquilegia by mistake. They are very pretty but once you have one it’s too easy to have too many : unlike the forget-me-nots they are not easy to remove as they have a thick tap root.

If the time or energy only reaches a short way the most productive thing to do is to make all the edges look distinct and neat. Then once the grass is cut and the plants in the bed fill it well  the eye is at least 90% satisfied. Next time I should do a before and after photo and time it.

Alison

#52 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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Cup – a painting a day

May 16, 2010 Leave a comment

6inx7in 15cmx17cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Today we had a really good breakfast with fresh croissant made from ready to roll dough. We had some with chocolate in some plain and some with chocolate and pear. I have never made croissant from scratch and while I am convinced that with the right instructions it could be achieved I feel life at the moment is too short.

Later we put the roof back on the fruit cage; it came down in the sticky snow that fell in January. I suppose we were lucky the fruit bushes were saved  from snapping off by the mesh collecting the snow. There is a fabulous set on the red and blackcurrants and more gooseberries than we have had so far.

Then after a hasty lunch, I went off to Brighton and got round five Artists Open Houses, there were some houses where what was on offer was good but too familiar, at others, the garden was almost the main attraction. From the back window of one I looked into a neighbours garden where a terrace was covered in white chippings but they turned gradually to pink the closer they got to the flowering cherry over the wall. The fallen petals were the same size as the stones so the effect was seamless.

I think there were pictures of hares in about four of the five houses and they seemed particularly repetitive, making me wonder if there are so few hares around that everyone is using the same reference photo’s from the internet. After all what percentage of the population have seen hares boxing in the spring? I imagine very few,yet it is an often repeated image.

My friend enjoyed the sculptures from Zimbabwe in Westdene, AfricArt.The garden was full of people chipping away at stone blocks, sanding almost finished work and waxing finished work. There was an opalstone statue inside of two women holding fish that was just exquisite.

I came back and did a quick sketch of last night’s coffee cup.

Alison

#51 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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A small sprig of Apple Blossom – a painting a day

May 15, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday   6inx6in 15cmx15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

This is a fast and furious very wet on very wet watercolour, I hesitate to use the word technique as I think that would be over selling what I just did here.

The colours are quite sharp which is right.

Today was busy with visitors. I made the remains of the venison casserole into a pie with some additional mushrooms and very good it was again. I always feel that I have scored if there is a meal to be made from what is already prepared in the fridge. We opened a bottle of red that had been in the cupboard under the stairs for a couple of years, and it turned out to be terrific, South African Brede River Origin. It was 15% alcohol so everyone became very boisterous and inclined to insult each other. I think it was a bottle that came mail order in a mystery bargain mixed case, I am a sucker for that sort of deal, the unpacking and consideration of each bottle is great .

In the afternoon I went to see Cheek by Jowl do Macbeth at the Theatre Royal Brighton. It was completely packed in the centre of Brighton but the theatre was only half full. It was one of those pared down productions and parts were brilliant but at times it was hard to pick out all the words and that made it less vivid. The porter is utterly fabulous and Macduff magnificent. It felt like one of my less even paintings, there was a need to get the levels consistent.

Alison

#50 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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Apple blossom –a painting a day

May 14, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday   size 9 in x 6 in 23cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

This is not giving me everything that is good about apple blossom. I love it for its’ sturdily curled petals and its subtle blushes. The blossom is soft and opulent and the supporting twigs are knobbly and grey.

I saw my first cabbage white butterfly of the season this morning, they used to be so common in London when I was growing up, the caterpillars were a familiar sight destroying my father’s cabbages. In the bush in Botswana, and come to think of it in town, clouds of white butterflies would drift past on the breeze. Here I look up if I see one.

I picked some asparagus today in honour of my brother in laws visit; it looks rather weedy still but was crisp and delicate stir fried. The strawberries have 30% blackeye from the frost which will prevent fruit forming. Some of the plants have set fruit already so it’s to be hoped that they at least grow into edible strawberries.

Alison

#49 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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Limes -a painting a day

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

size 7.5 in x 6 in 19cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

There is only one real use for limes…they go very well with gin and tonic. In fact it’s good to leave out the tonic and just squeeze the lime juice into the gin and sip it contemplatively – narrowed eyes compulsory. I think it has come to the time when gin is required.

Well OK I use limes in Thai food too but that’s recent, I found out how good they were in gin during 1976, in a bar overlooking Hamilton harbour, Bermuda.

I have had another frustrating day trying to progress a diagnosis for my son, preferably before his exams start. It’s possible to spend so much time slopping around between the people who can say you can have a test and the other people who can fill in the forms to say you can have a test and then the next lot of people who can do the test but cannot make the decision to have it done. As he would say “RANDOM”.

Yesterday I saw the first fledged and out of the nest baby blackbirds, on a path near the river Ouse.

Tonight needing a bit of cheering up I raided the freezer for goodies. I found stewing venison and kidney, which together with some red pepper, celery, shallots, bacon pieces, left over red wine and some herbs made a casserole to be proud of. I also braised a red cabbage that has been skulling around the fridge draw for too long with the last of the stored cooking apples and some red onion that was hiding under the spuds on its own, in a net bag, the last of its race. We had it with some jersey royals and some broccoli for the fussy ones who won’t eat red cabbage. It felt a lot like making something good from nothing. The venison had been a present from my mother in law. For completeness sake I added a clove and three juniper berries, oh yes and a slug of Worcester Sauce.

While it cooked I painted the limes. I added the other bits the coriander and garlic clove for compositional effect. They are sharper and linear to the bulk of the limes.

Alison

#48 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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The tulip face on – a painting a day

May 12, 2010 Leave a comment

 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

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“Esperanto” a tulip – a painting a day

May 11, 2010 Leave a comment

   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.

Alison

#46 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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Solomon’s seal 2 -a painting a day

May 10, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday   size 12inx4.5in 30cmx12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

I decided to go back to the Solomon’s seal and change the background by moving the flowers to a different place. This is a bit lighter and fresher and I think that the stem has got a little bit longer in the two days.

Politics can be fascinating. I have realised that the whole thing is really quite miraculous, because I do believe that the majority of people in this country were appalled by the scandal of MP’s expenses and the arrogance and greed exposed by it.  It cannot have been planned but the electorate have managed, without any mechanism at their disposal, election results that have not pleased anyone but the Greens. A bloody nose for all parties pretty much.

There has been comment that yesterdays garden pictures should have had a sunglasses warning …here are some more restful shots. Apple Newton Wonder, Rhododendron no idea.

We’re getting frost and the tomatoes, banana and dahlias are all out there. I don’t remember frost this late in Sussex ever before .

Alison

#45 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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