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Archive for July, 2010

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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Red Shirley Poppy – a painting a day

July 2, 2010 Leave a comment

   size 7.5 in x 4. in 18cm x 11cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

This is beginning to form a body of work, I can look at the ninety pictures and start seeing several different strands; what is interesting is that I can see strands the pictures are not all the same, not consistent as I said but producing so many (for me) shows that there are groups and themes there even when I am making no conscious effort to produce a particular theme.

I picked a poppy yesterday morning which flopped and looked miserable for twenty four hours, today it looked up again so I painted it. The photo shows the bed where the poppies are growing in the morning light.

Today I couldn’t put off defrosting the freezer as someone had left t the door half open and the warm humid air did the rest. It doesn’t matter how careful I am, there is always a portion of loose peas rolling around in the bottom of the drawer. It’s one of those rules like- people who are sick in the street have always eaten carrot and quite often bean sprouts actually.

No1 son went to his grandparents on the train today with his friend. They got there! No disaster occurred! No trains were cancelled! No2 son remembered to go to his guitar lesson!

I discovered something about the taster day at sixth form college…he thought it might be interesting to go and sign up for taster lessons in subjects he hadn’t chosen to see what they were like……he did Geography at one college but assumed it would be the same at the next so avoided it…..so no point of comparison. I wish I had seen that one coming.

Watering? well it’s just fire fighting these days, running from plant to plant finding things that are about to or probably will die from lack of water.

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

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Cherries in a bowl – a painting a day

July 1, 2010 1 comment

NFS   size 5 in x 6 in 12cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

The secret with the watercolour is to use clean water as a paint. For example yesterday’s picture bled dark purple onto the background so much that the picture lost definition, I managed to wash it away carefully and soak the extra water up into a tissue. This restored the shadow to a paler more realistic tone. I am still not entirely happy with the stalks and highlights but the picture does have a 3D look in thumbnail. That tells me that broadly speaking the tones are right.

I had some time to myself today which is the first time that has happened in two months almost.

Apart from some weeding, watering and washing (i.e. the usual round) I did get some arrangements made to mesh the boys weekend (one away), the neighbours diabetic cat and some food for Geoges funeral on Monday. The next thing I must think about is clothes shopping for summer clothes as they are both growing out of what they wore last year.

I got the boys to disinfect and sponge down their pool ready for filling; they really think that I was being nasty to them and unreasonable in my own uniquely annoying way. They discussed leaving it dirty, they argued over who had done how much and it was painful but in the end there was a cleaner if not clean pool. So now of course the weather will break and I will not have to do the watering for a while, result!

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

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