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Archive for the ‘Water colour’ Category

Cactus and Bilbergia

April 17, 2012 6 comments

Size 12in x 6in 30cm x 15cm approx

Cacti and succulents are very odd and there it is, they just are. They belong to the awkward squad and as such specialise in sharp points, razored edges and irritant hairs. The shapes are elemental, often harsh and then they flower; the flowers are soft and bright or as in the case of these flowers coloured like a school tie with a sugar rush-but always in complete contrast to the plant that bears them. One of the old gardeners on Gardeners Question Time ( either Fred Loads or Bill Sowerbutts ) when asked about cacti as house plants said, ” the really useful thing about cacti is that they take a very long time to die”; I have one which I am pretty sure has been dead for five years but it has such a thick covering of spines you can’t see the plant inside anyway-its as pretty dead as it was alive -not many things you can say that about!

This picture was done a week ago over the bank holiday at my in-laws they have a lovely conservatory which is full of plants especially cacti. I could have worked my way round the long window-sill drawing one after the other but there were other distractions (chocolate and slow roast pork shoulder).Various alterations were made to the computer over the holiday and several of the bits I use went awol so whatever I have painted I have been unable to blog (fume).

The Allotment is leaping away at the moment ,asparagus almost ready to cut and rhubarb knee high…the one we forced lifted its bucket a foot off the ground .

Three more blushing pears

April 4, 2012 2 comments

size 8in x 6in  20cm x 15cm

Wonders will never cease to flow across the barren landscape of my existence…lovely aunt has a good report from the doctor, DIY dad has done a tip run, the town councillors don’t like the sound of new neighbours monster house development, and the thin  practice nurse’s dire predictions for me turn out to be unfounded as yet, in other words I am not particually unhealthy just rather tubby.

#202

Rustic Pergola.

April 2, 2012 1 comment

size A4

This is the sketch I completed yesterday at Oakleigh Cottage near Heathfield. Well I almost completed it in situ. I filled in some of the gaps when I got home.

The garden is one acre and in several different parts. It has a new highly impressive irrigation system run from a borehole, DIY Dad was in his element. He likes drills of the handheld and the lorry load variety and boreholes are modest sized drilling projects. The horticultural interest is varied; pretty drifts of daffodils and frittillaries , startling yellow marsh marigolds and some giant bamboo which is competing on almost equal terms with an oak tree.

I have had to go onto my third file for the blog as this picture is 201 (100 paintings per file). It is also about two years since I started blogging so I have obviously not managed a painting a day more like one every four days on average. Still, to stop would seem wrong.

#201

Uncommon Garden Snail

April 1, 2012 3 comments

size 2″ x 2″  5cm x 5cm approx

This is tiny, the snail shell is tiny and fragile, it is the sort that appears on the chalk. We are not on the chalk, but there are pieces of chalk and flint to be found in the garden soil….have to have been brought here whether by nature or man, I am not sure but I do wonder about ancient iron workings as sometimes I find bits of slag-iron. Perhaps there is enough calcium on the surface to support chalk loving weeds ( which we also have) and snails. I shall look for one of the stripy snail shells as they are very pretty close up. This is the 200th picture in my series of so called daily paintings. My mother predicted that it would become a burden if I continued with one a day, it has been important to relax about not being perfect both in the execution of the pictures and the production of the pictures. If I had not embarked on the concept I would probably have some paintings to show but not 200 wildly varied images that I do have.

The blackbirds first nest in a small evergreen has been abandoned- or robbed; it was sitting on the nest but now the nest is empty- it was well within reach of the fox and the cats which are more common in the garden than five years ago. The best and most successful nest site for the blackbirds does not appeal to them until the Clematis montana has plenty of leaf. There are still roving goldfinches in the garden looking for seeds. They have had most of the remaining fennel seeds and I have cleared the Verbena bonariensis stems as they have  suddenly started to bring me out in a nettle rash.

#200

Three flushed pears

March 31, 2012 2 comments

Thats the first painting for at least a week. Still Easter holidays are here and there maybe some more time to be found.
SOLD

#199

Three speckled plums II

March 16, 2012 3 comments

6in x 6in  15cm x 15cm  approx.

Now I seem to have lost my bloom and gained definition on the spots or is that just the natural aging process…of the plums,dear, of the plums, I can hear Frankie Howerd saying this.

The difference between these two pictures is that the first painted the spots in negative ie by painting a dark background round them and in this one I used masking fluid to keep the pale spots pale. Or you could say I painted them in positive with masking fluid which is removed later.

Three speckled plums

March 13, 2012 3 comments

size 6″ x 6″ 15cm x 15cm approx

Click here to buy http://www.etsy.com/listing/95201997/the-speckled-plums-watercolor-6in-x-6in

There, I finally did another painting, I started it yesterday evening and luckily got straight back onto it after breakfast this morning which would not usually be possible. The rest of the day has been swallowed up in other peoples trips and visits and unexpected double bookings. Then just as I was actually doing something useful getting stuck into a bramble root, the new neighbours walked through to the back of the house and stood there calling me over as though we actually knew each other. I say the new neighbours, they could be the developers who wish to double the next door house in size taking masses of our sunlight. There was rather a lot of emphasis on their neighbourly status which has made me wonder why they feel the need to stress it. They have not moved in and tell me they will not do so until after the summer……he presented a card and tells me he is a builder. As most of the builders I have met since we moved here have lied to me in an accomplished and persistant way I am feeling very nervous indeed.

Spots on a spherical object are a challenge. I feel they are too prominant in this picture but the idea was to get both the spots and the bloom, which dark plums so often have, on the page. Its a bit technicolour, I am having a really bad run of not liking my paintings. I did one in oils and, while I enjoyed the smell, I was outraged by the result- too horrific for the blog.

I do think this is a painting which is flattered by the scan and the screen. Honestly it is worse in real life.

The garden is on a roll, the Daphne bhuloa is nearly finished, the D. odora is opening, the small daffodils are all out and some big ones too. There are hyacinth, the honey smelling Osmanthus blooms , and even the first forget-me-not. The little camellia which I bought is still tiny but this year it is covered in blooms…single small white blooms with a whiff of pink. There are flower buds on a tree paeony which has never managed a flower yet, I can live in hope on some fronts. Dogstooth violet and foxtail lilies are poking through the ground so its possible they will reflower and flower respectively and establish themselves in the shady part of the garden.

The corner of the garden planted up two years ago( I think )is now a tangled mass of self sown Verbena bonariensis, Geum and bronze fennel; but look inbetween and underneath…. there are brambles germinating, twitch grass lacing and ivy creeping. There are also masses of Hypericum seedlings which I pull out on sight but am losing the battle with at the moment.

Talking of lacy effects I was passing a municipal bed on a slightly misty but bright day and there was a bed with wonderful spires of creamy lace erupting everywhere…winter ornamental cabbage going to seed – it looks fantastic.

#197

Narcissus in a Poole vase – a painting a day

March 2, 2012 2 comments

Click here to bid   size 12in x 7in approx

The winter seems gone; today there was an air of spring about …everything really. Even Clapham Junction felt as though something had lifted. So of course the weather man tonight after the news has to smirk and offer colder weather later in the week and beyond that a possibility of more snow. Hmm I dislike turning into the sort of old person who bewails the snow rather than enjoys it…but I feel we have had quite sufficient for now thank you. It was only yesterday I was congratulating myself on the amount of wood left in the store; there might be as much as a third left to help with next winters supplies if it stays as mild as it has been. It is midnight now and I am sitting up typing wearing just a T-shirt and it’s not unbearably cold.

This painting, strictly speaking, was a two day painting, however as I was out of the house almost all day today collecting lovely aunt from her holiday in Suffolk and calling on mother as a bonus I have justification in calling it a daily painting, well a days painting. I am not at all sure I like it…I like bits of it. It would normally at this point be put away for me to think about but as there is a big gap on the blog where the paintings should be, it is going public.

Using the same sort of warped logic that applies to “Embarrassing Bodies” on TV, here’s a picture I would cheerfully hide from myself -now watch me put it where anybody can see it . DIY Dad, who is having something of a Revival in DIY enthusiasm at the moment, thinks I am a pathetic perfectionist , he can’t see anything wrong with it, No1 son says its “OK really, no really I do like it” No 2 just reminds me that anything I do ( at all ) is crap. Not in so many words or those exact words ( he’d be fined if he tried that-again). Which averages out at “ No Comment” pretty much. As the person who has the casting vote I come round to sticking it on the blog but pretending it’s in a cupboard and ignoring it for a safe period after which, by magic, I will be able to tell if its good or not or at least spot the mendable parts and then reassess. Hopefully.

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

The “Forest” Floor

February 23, 2012 1 comment

I tidied this up today, the sketch was done last week on a visit to the Living Rainforest which was an almost on the way a to stop off over half term. I fell in love with the birds there, especially the little metallic partridges which bustled around the  paths and in and out of the bushes. They are called Roul Roul Partridges, they quarrel ,they chase each other and make a funny noise. Much more attractive qualities in shiny feathers than in grungy jeans and dubious t-shirts.

Two days of tulips, artificial light and natural light- a painting a day

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

20120209-195413.jpg

12″ x 9″  30cm x 22cm approx. 200g/90lb paper

Both these paintings are a full page of my medium sized Fabriano block sketch pad. They are not entirely to my satisfaction. The first uses artificial light and the second the fading natural light of this afternoon. I think I could almost do a Hockney cut and paste, adding the parts I like from one image to the other image. Well I could except it was the two tulips to the left that went off in each case. Tulips are swines for moving by the way; in a half hour period leaves curled and twisted away from their starting positions.

#193

20120209-195429.jpg

The snow has not all melted and today I met a man cross country skiing on the South Downs. It was beautiful but very cold up there. In Ditchling village the pub window boxes are still showing blue in the flowers ( now freezedried) of the summer lobelia. In the last half hour fresh snow started falling.

#194