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Posts Tagged ‘asparagus’

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 .

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Salad Days-a painting a day

April 11, 2011 1 comment

8in x 6in,  20cm x 15cm

The tally of barbeques got to five before colder evening temperatures forced us indoors on Monday. Lovely aunt was having a lovely time sitting out and enjoying the sunshine and flowers; this painting is a quick sketch of her in a silly sunhat. The pear trees and apple blossom are all coming out. The tulips have completely trumped the daffodils now and are magnificent, there are some that are short and tiny, some that are taller and double, I still like my pinkish ‘New Design’ tulips best.

#173

 Last night, unbelievably, the first asparagus was ready to cut-twelve small spears which were sweet and delicate.

The Art Nouveau Allium – a painting a day

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

size 6 in x7 in 15cm x 17.5cm pencil on cartridge paper

So today I had some old friends to visit, they had had a hot journey and so we all sat in the shade and had some cooling drinks, a bit of lunch and so on. We went round the garden and I explained what we had done to the house in the big building project from which we are emerging. It made a real change to spend time in the garden looking at it and enjoying the bird song…well thrush song mainly. There is a thrush who has a very distinctive song and he is trotting it out over and over from several different perches very loudly. I have begun to wonder if he has lost his mate as I did find quite a few thrush feathers in the back a few days ago. They have reared one brood already so I would have expected them to be busy with the next brood like the blackbirds by the front door.

No1 son had his last GCSE and all he has to do now is find a lost library book and find his Geography teacher to hand back the textbook. This is such a relief for me but the joy has not made it to his facial muscles yet.

We picked four pounds five ounces of strawberries. This has never happened before the crop is phenomenal even the leaves are lush and tall. I think the thing that has made the difference is the black fabric weed suppressant, it must be drawing moisture up from underground, in the winter there is often standing water on the plot and the old chaps say there are springs there.

The redcurrants are ripening by the day too, closely followed by the blackcurrants.

At two days after the date to stop picking the asparagus the biggest and most tempting spears have emerged.

Today there is no painting but I have sketched the Allium bulgaricum which has been changing shape since I painted it. I am sure it must be the inspiration to an Art Nouveau motif that I have seen somewhere.

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

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Red poppies – a painting a day

June 21, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday.  size 6 in x 4.5 in 15cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

So on Saturday/Sunday I started going down with the worst summer cold I remember having in recent years. Sleep has been almost impossible for two nights.

Yesterday Sussex was bisected by the London to Brighton cycle race, to cross on foot you had to walk past the pelican crossing (cyclists won’t stop for walkers) and find a junction where stewards would allow cars to cross the stream every now and then and run in the wake of a car to get across; my mother in-law says she thought she was going to get mown down by cyclists. At three thirty in the afternoon there were still hoards of them, some injured, some towing children and some with numbers nearly as high as 30,000,by six they had finally finished with Mid Sussex-at least southbound. By the evening you have to remember to avoid the roads coming out of Brighton as there are huge jams of vehicles trying to pack up bikes and riders for the journey home. The problem can stretch all the way to London.

I did a rather pale picture of some field poppies which he (husband) picked for me from the fields on top of Ditchling Beacon. The cyclists will have passed the field in extreme fatigue- if they made it up the Beacon, I hope they noticed the remaining poppies because, what is the point of a visit if you’re too tired to notice the good bits? I have done the poppies in a decorative style as there is such a tangle of them in the vase I couldn’t do it any other way.

I should have said, on Saturday there were over four pounds of strawberries and the same again today.

The blackbirds by the front door have hatched their second brood this blog, there have been young coal tits, chaffinches and thrushes in the garden. On Sunday I saw a nuthatch.

We went back to the Old Farmhouse,Rudgewick and heard some more wonderful music on Sunday. The progress in the garden is really remarkable since (hang on let me look back at the blog…day seventeen April 10th or thereabouts) Whole areas have been finished off with edging, planting and turf. The borders have filled out to magnificent effect in between the barn and the house.

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

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Red currants and the purple asparagus – a painting a day

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

 this painting is framed and for sale

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

The time today has flown by , but I had promised to do a picture with the purple asparagus so here it is. Tomorrow is the last day of the season.

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

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Allotment Strawberries–a painting a day

June 9, 2010 Leave a comment

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

Yesterday was a family birthday (so sorry no blog) and I picked one and three quarter pounds of strawberries, lucky then that everyone likes strawberries for pudding. We had barbecued chicken and sausages with asparagus risotto and a salad. We kicked off with a special bottle of Ridgeview Knightsbridge which was lovely. No2 son made the canapés to go with this…rye biscuits, soft goats’ cheese and smoked salmon. My meringues went dreadfully wrong; I ended up incinerating them in the microwave as I got distracted into searching for something. Burnt from the inside out and smelling really dreadful- just as the first guests arrived. “Hello, sorry about the smell” is never a good opener.

Because two main items came from the allotment this feast came to £3.60 a head excluding wine, and the cheese board which was only really for one person who is on an Atkins type diet. I include the birthday cake and burnt meringues in the calculation….cooking from scratch saves shed loads of money.

My in-laws came back from France with loads of what they call ‘bits’, I call them goodies- jars of rillettes and pate, macaroons, virulent goats cheese, olive bread and palmiers . Actually, thinking about it, I should paint a few cakes ; the only thing I have done in that subgenre is the hot cross bun.

Today there were strawberries for tea and for the painting a day…only one pound two ounces however, perhaps they have peaked. I lost the light as I was waiting for a layer of this to dry, it may be repictured tomorrow with a tweak or two. The variety is Cambridge Favourite.

Alison

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

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Three spears of Asparagus -a painting a day

May 25, 2010 Leave a comment

    size 6 inx8in15 cmx23cm, watercolour on heavyweight rag paper

  The asparagus is doing rather better, a bit of watering helps and the general dryness hasn’t done much for the slug population.

 There are lovely rosy purple tones in the green asparagus and later on I may look at the purple which is very handsome too.I placed it on a muted green Wedgwood plate from the 1960’s which belonged to my Uncle Bob.

 Painting the stem it becomes a bit like a harlequins costume alternate triangles of green and purple striped with shadow.

 I also made a pretty salad using new potatoes, asparagus, chive flowers and egg, I used a dressing I make with goats yoghurt, French mustard ,olive oil and lemon juice. Here is a photo:

Today I discovered that the appointment which was made two weeks ago has been cancelled and the paperwork sent on to a different department,” with the porters”, it should get there by the close of business two days later. I know the appointment was sent to them on the internet so why can they not transfer it internally by computer? I also discovered that arrangements I made sure were put in place to help No.1 son get through his GCSE’s better were lost at the last stage. The exam organiser knew that what she had asked for had been organised but the person invigilating was not told. Systems engender despair when they work so badly.Yesterday was blogless but I did take some photo’s of the clematis Montana and the clematis Early Sensation:

  

Alison

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

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