Archive for August, 2010

Red apples on the ground – a painting a day

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

   size 10 in x 6 in , 25cmx15cm  watercolour on heavy weight rag paper.

Today was beautiful the grass was sparkling in the sunshine this morning, the heavy dew which makes for ideal fungus hunting weather….yesterday we found about two pounds of bay boletes, today we went back and found three and a half pounds of edible fungi including three ceps, amethyst deceiver, and birch boletes. I will put some pictures in. The dessicator is now full and the Christmas soup is assured….it needs woodpigeon, ceps , cream and brandy in addition to the normal soup making things like stock and onion.

Yesterdays painting still needs to be finished, it is very wishy washy at the moment. I put off cutting the grass to get today’s painting of the early apple tree, it has got to where I can no longer rely on picking the apples that do not show from the view point so it HAD TO BE DONE. I wanted the windfalls to be in the picture too so had to pick them up in a great hurry at six this evening, in order to get the mowing done. It’s hard to believe that we have eaten pounds from the tree already, there are plenty there. The problem is now getting to be that if there is a windfallen Ellisons Orange apple I will eat that in preference.

Yesterday was our duty day at the sailing club, sadly we have been very little this year and it’s a waste of the membership really. Earlier in the summer there was a lot of work on the house to get through-there still is!

The woods where the boletes came from are a lovely mixture there are pine trees, coppiced hazels and sweetchestnuts, heathy bits and a little steep valley (a ghyll they call it in Sussex, but it’s supposed to be a Scottish word). The boys found a rope with a stick hanging from a tree , it swang over a watery hollow full of dead wood and mud. Naturally one of them fell in it.


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

Todays ceps

Yesterdays Bay Boletes

Sunflower and Banana plant in the new flower bed,by tomorrow the Hedychium should be out.


The monastery from Babine Kuce, reworked#2 – a painting a day

August 28, 2010 1 comment


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

There are several things report today DIY Dad has started again in earnest and has told me firmly that I must expect to listen to rambling useless diatribes about plumbing and so on. I thought I was just here to cook the food and do the washing.

Given the weather was actually rather nice I was finding it very hard spending time indoors looking at depressing breezeblock walls with remnants of 1960’s decor peeling in an unromantic fashion.

The solution I came up with was good. I suggested a walk to look at some of my favourite fungus sites. The boys were promised ice cream and a bag of crisps. They complained bitterly but under sufferance they did come, muttering and threatening retribution. In the woods we found that there were no chanterelles or ceps but that the hedgehog mushrooms were beginning to fruit and we found two nice birch boletes and two very small beefsteak fungi. I photographed them before stir frying them.

The boys got their ice creams in a village shop and I got my Saturday paper, their humour improved on the walk until they had got back to being the boys we had on holiday.

On the way home we stopped for a drink in a pub overlooking the village green and then went on to the DIY store . Husband was in seventh heaven, fungi, beer, and a DIY browse all crowned by catching the car getting to 90,000 miles on the way back……and it still keeps going.

I had another go at reworking the picture of the beautiful Benedictine monastery in Mljet this time I put in the boat which takes people out to the island.

No2 son has been very informed and pretty clever, he has found and set up a new web-site on which I can sell work without a time limit. Its being called the lemonaday shop and will feature old pictures from the blog and other work that looks like it fits in.

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


View of monastery at Babine Kuce, Croatia – a painting a day

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

   size 6 in x 5.5 in 15cm x 14cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

This picture was actually done yesterday but what with the swimming and the KFC afterwards I was in no fit state to get it posted, besides which there was rampant DIY going on.

I did not like the tiny canoes in the original painting so left them out in this one.

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

Victoria plums – a painting a day

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

 this painting is framed and for sale in the burgess hill open house event see blog June 4th

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

Just so you are not worried by the numbering; I made a mistake on the numbering of paintings while I was away , therefore the picture of the monastery in Croatia has been renumbered as# 117, it was previously #108.

Rain, it just isn’t stopping, it is slowing for a while and then starting up again. There seems to be a chance that there will be some almost dry weather over the weekend…please let that happen as I want to have some time to enjoy the garden again. At the moment I am going out and getting wet and muddy even to pick a handful of tomatoes. I picked six today and we ate the four from yesterday…we are self sufficient in tomatoes!

There are some late flowering treats, the cyclamen are getting started, the relocated ginger lily or Hedychium is in bud, the Canna lily is shredded by the wind and rain, and some late sown morning glory are growing like they mean it and the first beautiful purple trumpet opened today. It is scrambling up with a very vigorous Cobaea Scadens which hasn’t flowered at all yet. Having looked it up to see how to spell it, I see that it is in fact perennial but only half hardy….will it like being cut down and put on a window sill overwinter?

Today’s painting is of the last three  Victoria plums which came from A & R’s garden at the weekend. They do actually look Victorian in their colouring all those heady purple and red dyes that they discovered and loved to use). I decided to put them on a little Staffordshire saucer.

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

Red Russula – a painting a day

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

    size 6 in x 4 in 15cm x 12.5cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Exhibited and sold at Inspired by Nymans Exhibition

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

Sibenik apples and pears – a painting a day

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Sibenik reworked #2 (#116)

   size 6 in x6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Sibenik reworked #1 (painting a day #114) with minor alterations

   size 6 in x6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Wedding pictures have begun to trickle through on the e-mail, it looks like I habitually turn my back on the camera as there are only pictures of me from behind! The boys are in some shots which is good.

I have spent a lot of time peeling pears and freezing drying and cooking them.

I also made a tasty salad from Blackstick blue cheese and pears diced with a few stems of Chinese cabbage diced to give a little crunch. The pears are now sweet and aromatic with their special pear drop kick. I also poached some sliced pear in a vanilla syrup…..beautiful.

Loads of apples are tumbling off the trees with the wind and rain, they are also being slowly peeled and frozen or cooked.

There are more and more fungi in the grass, I might collect the red cracking boletes as I have eaten them before and they are OK- not as good as ceps, but then nothing is.

The tomatoes have started to turn so I have picked eight slightly plum shaped ones which are a bit mushy but tasty cooked. The smaller ones are refusing to ripen…next thing the blight will be in there.

I have altered the last reworking of the Sibenik sketch and here is another.

No1 son got his required grades and we are all so happy for him, after all the teachers and life threw at him he has managed to get there. He hates me talking like this so I’ll stop.

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

Sibenik – a painting a day

August 22, 2010 1 comment

Sibenik the passage ,reworked#1

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

Sibenik the passage, f irst sketch

This blog covers the weekend just gone there were several painting that I did but did not get a chance to blog as there were so many other things competing for my time and my blogging partner with the technical expertise.

The humanist non-wedding preceded by a civil ceremony has been and gone. It occurred to me that it must be more difficult to get through saying your lines when you have written them yourself because they are  much more personal. I was very pleased with my dress and the green toenails, the non-bridesmaids were spectacular in shocking pink polka dotted dresses with black feather fascinators and netted gloves. The **ide (look I avoided the b-word as requested) had a dress by Vivianne Westwood which was gorgeous; the material twisted and folded into the shape of the body but had a magic effect once on. It was both modern and grand Edwardian in one object.

There was a lot of wandering round the Essex village from house to Parish Hall and finally back to our B&B in the Old Police House; it was, unlike some villages, quietly busy: an artist in the street accepting a commission, a bus turning outside the house, a butchers, a bakers and some other shops, people stopped in the street talking, cyclists making their way slowly to the allotments. I think the atmosphere is so pleasant because it is the end of the road; to continue east from Tollesbury you need a boat.

No1 son had a lovely time as he has decided alcohol is interesting, it was not till various people had reported back to me that the full picture emerged. Reports of Pimms added to fruit cup, glasses of wine filched from tables behind my back and glasses of red wine downed in one that I got close to an idea. He held it remarkably well and lived to eat five puddings that evening. Oh well he might put on some weight.

No2 son also had a lovely time but it was more to do with finding a wealth of friends and family to tease and run around with.

DIY dad did the barbeque the next day and got to inspect the magicians body cut in half act from the stage. He couldn’t work  out how it was done and the temporary assistant was not giving any secrets away afterwards. We started to pick the Victoria plums in the garden as some were dropping , our pears are now ripening at the speed of light and need eating, drying or freezing. The early apples are starting to tumble off the tree when you go to pick one. In Essex they had had a fantastic crop of greengages which made me jealous as it is one of my favourite fruit. I need to spend half a day on fruit preservation.

The pictures here are two sorts , firstly there is a picture of another fungus that has sprung up and then there are some reworking of the view from the quayside in Sibenik. I sketched it in about five minutes while waiting for the bus quite early in the morning, there is a sea passage between the two islands which leads out into the Kornati  archipelago. I liked the original sketch for its atmosphere but felt the reflection was in the wrong place. I have made about four attempts to rework it I will publish them even though none of them are definitive.

I am going to finish for now, but just want to quote a couple of things that came up at the wedding:

Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney 

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

I loved this and felt it very apt for A and R the non-bride and not quite groom who got married at the weekend.

Someone also quoted from Leon Rosselson’s song, using it to say that things had changed a great deal from the seventies, I remain to be fully convinced of that, however it’s still a great song:

So don’t get married, girls, it’s very badly paid
You may start off as the mistress but you’ll end up as the maid
Be a daring deep-sea diver or a polished polyglot
But don’t get married, girls, for marriage is a plot

Strangely I once sang it on stage with an American singer who moved away to my now husband’s aunt’s town where  Aunt Sue hired her to sing at her fortieth birthday…. the world is smaller everyday.

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

Trogir view reworked – a painting a day

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment

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

Eyelashes, as of today there are fewer than ever; that is because I woke up this morning with a clump of plastic lashes missing in the bedclothes, others were diving off in odd directions and some were bent out of shape. The overall effect was completely insane, I can be a heavy sleeper but I did not know I was heavy on the eyelashes as well. Sadly, I decided to have a bath and remove them, sadly because from certain angles they were really rather jaunty and sweetly curved. Removing with solvent them took a while and made me realise just how difficult it must have been to stick the blighters on. They need to be stuck to your own lashes but in my case the lashes are both short and very pale so hard to find in the first place. In the business of removing the fakes I dislodged a few real eye lashes….damn it they are an endangered species. Incidentally in case you think I am exaggerating, the falsies are the shortest in the box and they are about three to four times longer than my lashes. The next time I feel the need to remind the children that life is not fair I will be doing so with a slight self pitying catch in my voice.

I have been a very poor blogger this month, there have been days when I been busy with school holiday type things, days when there was no option but to be ill or look after the sick and I have also wanted to sort my pictures out. The second file needed organising for the second hundred pictures, it’s astonishing how long it takes to number a load of plastic sleeves and get them all in a lever arch file ready for the paintings. I could easily have done a painting with that slot.

The space where the door into the downstairs loo used to be, has now been mostly plasterboarded, a cupboard will fill the space where the short corridor once was and I am very excited, any increase in storage space is a bonus in this house which has a real lack of built in cupboards. Well for a pair of china, tool and equipment  hoarders with children it is inadequate. It might have been fine for the previous occupant. Our last house had three built in wardrobes and they were well used.

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

Autumn growth, a Bolete – a painting a day

August 18, 2010 Leave a comment

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

Eyelashes, I never had many and never very dark or very long, all that has changed now- they are simply evaporating. I have possibly hit upon a solution…stick on individual fakes, my good friend B came round and we had a real laugh…it looks slightly mad and the children say they prefer me without…”Honest Mum you look fine as you are normally…” Sweet, but easy to say from behind a fortress of lush thick lashes which they both got from their (smug) father. I will have to have a second go after this trial…in the meantime dare I leave the house?

Nails, another of my filings (get it?). I have only ever painted my toe nails as my finger nails are weak and never grow long…(and they are also  inky and grubby from weeding ) My dress is green and navy and white so red toe nails would be OK…but I thought metallic green would be funkier and it is. The nails were done by my friend B. who also helped with the technicalities of the dress….now I just have to relay her skills to my husband who will have to do and do it up on the day.

Toadstools are coming up in all sorts of places, here is the biggest so far in a pencil and paint depiction of autumn. Grim but true, it is autumnal. I need to check out what this fungus is, obviously it is a bolete but this garden has a variety of weird and dodgy looking Boletus species and they are not at all easy to nail. This looks like the iodine bolete but it does not have the right smell. It stains blue so I would not try and eat it. I have scattered the spores of Sussex ceps in the woody bit but no home grown porcini yet. Blewits and Chanterelles I may have introduced however, I will let you know if they reappear this year.

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

Across the lake, evening light – a painting a day

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment


 size 7 in x 9 in 18cm x23cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

The time today has flown by, it tends to when you are having a spectacularly rotten time. The nasty bug has been coming and going for some of us, which means it’s impossible to know from one meal to the next who will be able to eat or what they might manage.
This was all, fortunately in a way, broken up with my brother’s belated fiftieth birthday celebration. He came south and so did my sister which was lovely. We spent some time discussing exactly how we used to break into the house when we didn’t have a key…it involved shinning up a pipe above some hard looking concrete…I’d read the riot act if I caught my kids doing it- which just goes to show I’ve turned into an old hypocrite. The window’s changed now so even a child couldn’t get through it.
In the middle of the mass vomiting outbreak I noticed that the pears were ready to pick and that the birds had also noticed this fact. I started picking last Thursday and got some help by Friday. There are about 35 pounds of good pears and another eight or so of damaged fruit. The pears have to sit inside until suddenly the yellow tone brightens under the red streaks and they sweeten and soften. We can’t possibly eat them all; so some get given away and some go in the fridge to delay their ripening. Some I will dry in the dessicator as they have a very strong flavour and are good dried. The damaged fruit have almost all been cooked either in a crumble or stewed in red wine with cinnamon, sugar and cloves . I will freeze some for future crumbles and/ or my own favourite chocolate pear pudding, an upside down sponge pudding. We think the variety is French, Precoce de Trevoux, it is the strongest pear I have ever tasted having a real affinity with the yellow and red pear drops we all adored as children. The apples are ripening very fast so lots of them need distributing to relatives, friends and neighbours as well.
This picture is of the view across the sea lagoon from Babine Kuce in Croatia, the house is rented out in the summer we were told. I have only just remembered to make the final changes to this painting so it has not been blogged before. I started it on the same day as the view across the lake to the monastery, it is the view looking the other direction from the view of the village and moored boats.
We have a wedding coming up …clothes shopping with teenagers oh horror horror horror.

111 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog