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Archive for July, 2010

The Orchid in Pen and Wash – a painting a day

July 12, 2010 Leave a comment

 

SOLD   size  12in x 6 in , 29cm x  15cm   pen & watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

The rain was rubbish, not nearly enough, the garden is still wilting. There’s always tomorrow however.

 Have had a second go at the orchid today, I’m trying to get some better lines with the pen. More work needed on a sloped surface I think.

Took mother back to London where the grass is entirely brown even though they have had more rain than we have had.

Returned home to find the kitchen devastated by no1 son making 3 gallons of pancake mixture…”I’ve run out of milk!” Worked out as we had visitors who got more than just a cup of tea.

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

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Orchid – a painting a day

July 11, 2010 Leave a comment

this is now for sale on ETSY:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/88811093/the-orchid-flowers-again-pen-and-wash

size  12in x 6 in , 29cm x  15cm pen & watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

It has not rained today but it has been hot. Everything in the garden is liable to wilt and look miserable and that includes me.

The boys have had a great time in the giant paddling pool with a friend, I have been in myself long enough to get dizzy going round and round in a circle.

My mother is visiting so I bought fresh peas as she likes podding them. I should have grown some but germination of everything has been dismal this year. Very glad indeed that we do not attempt anything more than adding to the bought food with what we grow.

The double poppies stop me every time I walk past but they are dauntingly complex so I have taken a picture rather than tried to paint them.

I really like the string of buds on this little orchid. I say little, it is about twelve inches high; visiting a friend who really is into orchids once, as I  looked at a tiny orchid he handed a jewellers glass over my shoulder and pointed out that the orchid had flowers if you looked closely enough. Yes the flowers were barely visible to the naked eye. Needless to say it was a valuable and collectable item.

I should paint some fresh peas though, if only to make a companion piece to the carrots.

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

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Cornflowers and corn marigold – a painting a day

July 9, 2010 Leave a comment

   size 7 in x 6 in 19cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

A very hot day, I spent some time with the niece of my elderly neighbour, she showed me old pictures of the road and the people who used to live in this house. From the pictures it is possible to make out the apple trees in their youth and the beginnings of some of the leylandii monsters that had taken over by the time we moved here.

It is 25 degrees in the studio which awhile back would have seemed unbearable but today seemed ok. I must be acclimatising.

Today’s picture is of the cornflowers which did not bleach in the sun and some corn marigolds. Last year I grew another cornfield weed corncockle and they were really striking. It is a very quick sketch as I hated the first one I did.

I also went to buy more pads of blocked watercolour paper as I am getting through it like there’s no tomorrow. Luckily for me there is a paper place where they make up their own blocks in 350g paper and it’s quite reasonable. The blocks of Fabriano paper I also use can cost a lot depending on where you get them. I got mine in a decorators shop in Florence, they were 25% of the UK price at the time!!

Tonight we had a scratch barbeque…i.e. raid the freezer, get a bit of salad out of the fridge and the red wine.No1 son decided that there was a lack in the pudding dept. So we made bananas in brown sugar and butter in foil on the coals and then he wondered what barbequed gooseberries would be like AND barbequed peaches! He foil wrapped the peaches and kebabed the gooseberries (what else?) Tike ate all the gooseberries saying they were really sour and that was a good thing. He gave me a peach which was excellent.

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

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Blue cornflowers in a stoneware pot – a painting a day

July 8, 2010 Leave a comment

SOLD   size 6 in x 4.5 in 15cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Today’s painting is nice and cool in colour, I seem to have managed to stay fairly cool today despite the heat outside. There has been some breeze and I didn’t find it as humid as some days. However mother in London was complaining bitterly about humidity there. Actually it must have got to me as I woke up with a major attack of cramp in my calf muscles this morning, vile.

I spent some time today rearranging jams; checking what is left from last year and deciding to chuck some crab apple jelly flavoured with cardamom and rose petals which just didn’t taste nice. I have to store my strawberry jam and redcurrant jelly made in the last fortnight. I found a jar of peach chutney and another of damson cheese which should really have been in the condiments cupboard.

I used the recipe for the redcurrant jelly that Elizabeth David gives in Summer Cooking, she and Eliza Acton say that in France they get a better set on their jelly because the weather is better. They say that in a dry summer here you should get a halfway decent set. Mine isn’t exactly heading into wine gum territory but it is set. Looks like they are right, it could also explain why last summer’s strawberry jam did not set very well – I was relying on my redcurrant juice to set it.

The giant paddling pool is now functional and I have chlorinated the water so we won’t have to change it.

I even got in myself and waded round and round to get a whirlpool which would concentrate the bits that fall in so they can be scooped out. It wasn’t that cold but very refreshing. Skinny ribs No1 son still gets goose bumps in there though; he suddenly saw that there were some advantages to being a bit heavier.

Husband decided to turn off the power for an important reason as I was finishing the meal tonight, then proceeded to explain the technical details to me over the meal…..they don’t really get it do they? to quote a good friend.

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

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Red Poppy with black heart – a painting a day

July 7, 2010 Leave a comment

SOLD   size 3 in x 4.5 in 8cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

This little sketch is one of the self sown poppies: I’m not sure it is a Shirley poppy, I think it might be a species…everytime I say something like that on the blog my typing slows down as the “you ought to check your facts” part of my brain puts on the brakes. In conversation I’d just breeze on of course, no way of checking the facts, but a computer changes all that. Excuse me a moment.

There is a quote on the web from the Reverend Wilks who bred Shirley Poppies in the first place ,in it he makes clear that no self respecting Shirley poppy has a shred of black about it. This must therefore be a wild form which has shown up in the Shirley poppy progeny. It’s very handsome, but dangerously weedy I suspect.

Today No1 son and I picked blackcurrants and red currants until he was raging with boredom. We had 3lb 4oz red and 1 lb 4oz black. There were a few strawberries, rather manky ones. So I made a pudding a friend invented a few years back for just such a day. This is what to do when the strawberries are a bit manky and or tired or you are tired of them. You stew a cupful of blackcurrants in a tablespoon of water or less with some sugar to taste. Meanwhile you clean up the strawberries(a cupful) put them in a heat proof dish, cut the big ones up and once the blackcurrants are cooked you tip the hot mixture over the strawberries. You can eat it hot or cold. I mixed gooseberries in with the blackcurrants today and that was very good too. I also made double quantity and its nearly all gone.

 I also picked some broad beans from the straggly surviving plants. I saw that the hedge has been cut by the owner but that they have missed some of the brambles on the allotment side and we will have a fine crop of them later.

The star in the garden at the moment is the hardy geranium ‘Patricia’, there is one plant in full sun which has spread its flowers over two metres (6’7″) at its widest point. It is a strong magenta pink with a black eye and there must be a thousand flowers open at the moment.. It has flopped open a bit in the middle which is normally not a good look ,but there is enough other stuff happening in the bed to mean that it doesn’t matter.

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

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Lavender and cotton lavender – a painting a day

July 6, 2010 2 comments

   size 8 in x 6 in 21cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Yesterday there was no painting; I went to George’s funeral. It was a lovely funeral and so many different people came, family from Australia and South Africa, artists from all over, old colleagues, old pupils, friends and neighbours. It was a good thing the neighbours were there as we ended up singing jazz, Irish songs, Greek dirges and anything we remembered from a long time ago. He would have loved the wake had he been alive and well. Lovely stories were told and there was an abundance of food, fifty people could not demolish it. Yes it’s sad to die, but not so sad when there has been so much quietly achieved in a life and life itself has become hard to live enjoyably.

Today there is a little sketch of the plants from the corner of the garden that I drew just over a week ago on a very hot Sunday. The bright lavender and the bright cotton lavender flowers contrast with the grey stems they share. They grow with a pale lavender under planted with golden marjoram.

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

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Blush pears and poppy petals – a painting a day

July 4, 2010 Leave a comment

If you are interested in buying this painting use the link below:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/85812407/blush-pears-with-poppy-petals

size 6 in x 9 in 15cm x 23cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

It was eerie and strange today, the whole family disappeared from midday to nine this evening, leaving me to get on with food for Georges funeral and my painting. To emphasis this the sky clouded over and the wind got up making it feel as though there just might be some rain coming …there wasn’t  of course.

I half wondered about getting some pickled walnuts to take as my grandmother also came from Portsmouth and she was insistent that you had to have them at a funeral. On the other hand stuffed vine leaves and filo rolls stuffed with feta and olives, courgette tomato and basil will probably suit the modern funeral better.

The lavenders are out in the garden next to the cotton lavenders ,I like the contrast but want to get a plant of the lemon yellow cotton lavender so that I have vibrant and pale in each.

The Colocasia in the bed with the Banana is coming up from the side tubers that I tore off and from last year’s tuber which was hollow and semi-rotten.

Watering is becoming a complete pain in the bottom

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

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