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A few days in the North

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment

 

228b

 

size A5
We went to Yorkshire for a few days- not exactly a holiday more a family outing extended for several nights. Diy Dad drove in his familiar, gritted teeth into the storm ( ex hurricane Bertha ),fashion. His father and I took turns navigating the various traffic standstills, passing through places I was only familiar with from the miners strike on the detours.

Aunt A, with help, had ordered a magnificent “cushion” of stuffed lamb from Mr Kendall her favourite butcher who had delivered it to her door. This we cooked and when the extended family in the area plus two Spanish visitors turned up it was demolished in short order, I wondered what the Spanish take on stuffing would be but they loved it . The apple crumble I made with crumble mix, blueberries and windfalls brought from home went the same way. Our cider went all over the table…too much excitement for one day.

We slept up on the moor in a remote house where diy Dad’s cousin lives; it is a beautiful place the wind whips across the moorland and the rain comes down only slightly below horizontal…caught out in it you need to find a vertical object for shelter rather than something actually over your head. The adjacent grouse moor is littered with feeders and there are hundreds of grouse as well as red-legged partridge…but the grouse do not often make their sharp g’back g’back call when you flush them from the heather. My memories from the other side of the Pennines forty years ago is of fewer but noisier grouse but who knows if I have an accurate memory-there is no going back to check.

The following day we took Aunt A in her wheelchair to Fountains Abbey and as the boys disappeared at great speed up the path towards the water gardens I began to regret putting too many things in my art bag and sat down to sketch. In doing so I missed out on tea and scones at the head of the water gardens but got to have a little wander round Fountains House which is small but perfect.

This is one of the sketches; I was taken with the two windows on opposite sides of the tower which I guess are identical. I drew what I saw but looking at it now it can’t be right unless the building is not symmetrical. I still like the offset clash of the two versions of the same thing.As I drew it I tried to break it down into manageable observable sections. A proper architectural artist would have a better knowledge of the structure and it would look more real as a result. However I am pleased with the effect of the two patterns overlaid even if the far side would be unbuildable from what was observed and recorded. It could of course be reworked into an etching, drypoint or collagraph.

 #228

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Green Parsley Flowers

July 31, 2014 1 comment

224a
size approx. 9″ x 7″
The flowers were in a vase and I was sketching them at the exhibition at Nymans but , being in rather a cramped corner I realised I had nearly flicked paint onto an art work of mine which I was trying to sell and I stopped painting!! The flowers came from my garden and having picked the stars of the bunch: Penstemon and creamy white roses, I needed fill and had none until I noticed that the parsley had gone to seed and was a lovely yellowy green a bit like Alchemilla mollis. The shapes in the flowers are lovely too . I finished it off in the studio just now.
#224

Mandraki

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

size 12 in x 6in, 30cm x 15cm

Coming back to planet normal after a week on the Aegean was a bit
of a gentle letdown, the trees had coloured up, the leaves had dropped damply
onto every surface but there had been no major frosts; I could have left all
those hastily gathered tender plants to carry on blooming. Lobelia is still doing
well in a pot, it loves the damp of course, there is something very similar to
our annual blue lobelia growing in the rock crevices which sit in the permanent
spray from Victoria Falls.

The fox has started chewing up a pair of gardening gauntlets left
out by mistake. The cider is still bubbling away happily…Ah yes I have been
blogless for months but that does not mean nothing has happened, quite the
reverse. DIY dad has constructed an apple press from my collection of old oak
gateposts and a large car jack. Using this and a gang of family members we
pressed some 180 litres of juice. There were apples from a neighbour’s tree,
apples from relative’s trees and community orchard apples harvested in proper
cider fashion using a panking pole to shake apples onto a tarpaulin. Endless
fun of the“ Let soandso have a go with the pole he’s a proper panker” sort was
had, we do a lot of boy humour round here. We also had some of our own Ellisons
Orange which we had stored outdoors they had lost some of their zip but
produced a very sweet juice.

Todays painting is a worked up sketch from the holiday; it is a
view down one of the narrow passages in Mandraki , Nisyros. A very elderly
woman came and sat beside me to watch saying “Jasas corrie” (Bless you
daughter”, it felt like decades since someone said that to me. The polite reply
is “Jasas yaya” ( Bless you granny). The overhanging tree is a giant rubber
plant or Ficus. I could literally have spent the whole day finding places to sketch there and the same applies to
Simi town where we also went. The problem with that idea is that there were
three people who needed a wife, mother and skipper to make their holiday work.
It’s boring waiting for someone to finish their painting.

We went to Mandraki
for lunch after being taken up to the crater of the volcano. The caldera is
vast and contains both agricultural land and a heath complete with flowering
heather like a patch of the New Forest dropped into a volcano. Very odd indeed,
from the heathery plain you drop down a rough cliff path into a wide crater
which has a flat mud floor with pits of boiling mud in its centre. Around the
edge there are vents where steam , so thick with sulphur that it crystallises
on the sides of the vent in delicate yellow needles, streams out to pollute the
atmosphere with the worst rotten egg smell possible. Afterwards the smell of
sulphur clings to ones skin. There are also active cones within the caldera
crater which look very new and raw.

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

Day One hundred and eighty one  Mandraki

Click here to bid   size 12 in x 6in, 30cm x 15cm

A leaf from the Newton Wonder – a painting a day

December 5, 2010 1 comment

 SOLD   size 6 in x 6 in, 15cm x 15cm

The snow which arrived on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday in large quantities has now almost all washed away. My neighbours who moved out while their building work was being done are back finally, they must be so relieved, and it is good to see the lights on at night knowing its inhabited again.

Last week’s combination of gammon on Friday and chicken on Sunday made a wealth of other meals. There was a spicy stir fry with Thai noodles , lots of sandwiches and finally chopped chicken and ham in mayonnaise to go in jacket potatoes. Then there was soup using the stock from the carcase and the gammon rind one cold lunchtime when no-one could get to school or work. The fat which came off was mixed with millet for the birds.

On Friday the school was appealing for volunteers to go and scrape snow off the paths and drives in order to get the place open for Monday….it is a close call- which is most unpleasant: two hours hard labour in the cold or another day with damp fractious boys all over the house?

There was no need to go and scrape snow off the school drive the rain has seen to it. Even the four foot icicle fell down today. I saved a section to show to some South African visitors who are due on Tuesday ( I have  saved it in the freezer).

After my vocal complaints last weekend about lack of help in the kitchen especially on a Sunday I was surprised to find that the promised weekend free of cooking really did happen and we still got a roast!!! We also got more kit made croissants than any of us could face No2 just kept taking trays out of the oven.

I have now run out of all but my last carton of Goats milk( UHT not brill. in tea)…the desperate housewives of the weald had stripped the supermarket of bread, milk, goatsmilk , UHT milk and goats UHT, fruit juice (so essential)  crumpets, teacakes, croissants, brioche and butter as soon as they could get the car back on the road ( I did not check to see if they were out of tins of borlotti beans too I expect they were; we are one of the Home Counties). When we couldn’t drive and the shopping was done by toboggan there was more food to buy. I have had to buy what is a marketing dream…oats milk you could pick it up by mistake glancing at the packet in  hurry. I don’t know if it will be any good, if it is horrid rest assured I will tell you.

The snow melted to show a soggy lawn with lots of soggy leaves, I therefore spent far too long raking them up, I have a small long barrow of apple and oak leaves, some of the apple leaves have lovely coloured stems so I did a quick sketch in watercolour (it was that or continue raking). The leaf is from the Newton Wonder tree which has big round serrated leaves, you are looking at the underside to see the best of the colour.

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

Coffee cup – a painting a day

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

NFS size 6 in x 6 in, 15cm x 15cm

The decorating is beginning to make the centre of the house look more finished. DIY Dad has got to some tricky conceptual stuff which involves making neat joints in the skirting board where the corner of the room is an oblique angle with a diagonal descending valley board joining (exposed wooden beam). I have the better grasp of 3D problems and in any case the problem is of my own invention as I designed the extension, so I feel obliged to sweat the angles and help make it work. The extension works as a space and it is, I am sure, structurally sound –  but my not being an architect can leave some awkward detailing in the final finish. The valley boards are two immense planks of oak which lace through the room and the room opening off it; from the window the triangle they make can be seen clearly. I love that as it was not part of the aesthetic  plan but a structural necessity and the way the oak framer worked, yet it has turned out very pleasing to the eye, well at least my eye.

The meal this evening was some home made burgers that NO2 son made in school, but he then made some lamb and mint burgers when he got home as well, the first ones were veal and sage. They were really very good, he dosn’t cook often but when he does he is very thorough and I’m not just referring to his ability to get every last jar of herbs out of the cupboard. Waitrose sell veal that is not the cruel white stuff but more like the oldfashioned suckler herd veal.

Today’s picture is simply a coffee cup in pencil. I also tried to sketch No2 son at the computer but I did not catch him in a still mood.

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