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Posts Tagged ‘soft fruit’

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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Black cherries – a painting a day

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

   size 4.5 in x 7.5 in 11cm x 19cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

I don’t really know yet if the black cherries are a goer. They started out well, all to plan, nice and subtle in the background and then I kept going when I should have stopped and waited for things to dry out a bit. Loose painting is good until it gets so loose it falls apart.

The cherries came from the market stall in the next town .I went there after driving past the sixth form college with No.1 son and dropping him off round a corner where no-one would see me . It was a taster day when they were to do simulated A level lessons. He was clearly not looking forward to the whole thing as he was distinctly ratty.

So I did some food shopping, came home, made a nice lunch, dragged the umbrella back round to the table and opened a bottle with some allotment friends. This was looking good until I went back to lock the front door and there was No1 son back home in a foul mood…still don’t know why.

We mended the big swimming pool later; the last summer it was out a visitor poked holes in it with one of the cleaning tools. They weren’t caught red handed so it was impossible to do anything about it but I really felt for the kids who had clubbed together and spent a lot of their own money on the pool. I will be more vigilant in the future and make sure no-one gets a chance to be so destructive again.

We got one pound four ounces of strawberries in total early and late…the end is in sight. However there are currants and blueberries to come.

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

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A posy of Albertine roses – a painting a day

June 29, 2010 2 comments

Click here to purchase  size 4 in x 6 in 11cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

It began with some rain on the velux window this morning. A promising start but the actual amount of rain hasn’t been enough to soak the soil. Therefore I still had to water lots of stuff. I even got over to the developing yew hedge which is slowly getting big enough that the neighbour won’t be snickering at it….well by next year he won’t I’m sure…. just ‘cos he’s got a ten foot high beech hedge! So far this year it has grown about six inches, a foot would be better, it grew a foot last year and I would like a foot this year.

The yew is a replacement for some of the boundary Leylandii and was bought when it was about 12inches high. It has got to 20 inches to 36 inches high now and most of them are interlaced with their neighbours.

That’s the trouble with malleable well behaved plants they can take ages to get established. I have a very beautiful single peony which once happy provides three things, red shoots in spring, huge floppy flowers in June and a bit of autumn colour. Once it is happy it should provide that every year without any real work or expense. It will never invade the whole garden, shed unwanted seed, or turn into an uninviting mouldy heap- but this particular peony is still sulking five years after being planted; one flower this year and one last is all it is prepared to commit to.

Talking of plants which do spread a little too readily the Geranium pyrenaicum which I chopped to the ground recently has already sprung back with new leaves and some flowers. I did not note when I did chop it down but it can only have been a week or two ago. I am composting the cut stuff as the compost is working fast and hot at the moment, it’s shrinking back very quickly every time I stuff more weeding and vegetable peel in there ;in other words I am confident the seeds will not ripen in the compost they will most likely get cooked.

No2 son has needed hosing down on the lawn after school the last two days he is so hot.

We forgot to go and pick the strawberries today.

Today’s painting is the opposite of yesterdays simple stark redcurrants, it’s summery and garish; I am trying to come to terms with it but there it is it is what I painted today. The roses are some I bought barerooted a couple of years ago. They are supposed to be decorating the holly bushes as they regrow to make one of the boundaries with the road, for once the plants are doing what was planned and the strings of coral buds look fantastic.

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

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Red Currants – a painting a day

June 28, 2010 2 comments

 http://www.lemonaday-shop.co.uk/gallery-shop  size 4 in x 6 in 10cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

After doing the blog last night I drove to London in that lovely time of day when the skys’ blue deepens to a rich turquoise and then Prussian blue. The light from the set sun was still bleeding up from the horizon and the sodium lights were lit. Orange and blue are very dramatic, after such a hot day the driving reminded me of the end of a days drive in Botswana when you were glad that it had cooled down and could relax on that account, but anxious to get there before all the light went and the cows ambled onto the road and sat down. Black and white cows weren’t so bad you saw them in the headlights but all black Brahmins were invisible until it was too late. A friend Tabo swerved one night to avoid a black cow on the road, as he came off the road onto the dust he saw three more black cows next to the first just before he hit them and rolled the Landcruiser.

This morning I woke up in my old bed at my mother’s house with the sun pounding on the window. We needed to go and choose wallpaper. There are so many truly disgusting kinds out there it beggars belief.

The design briefs must read something like:

See if you can work an oriental theme into a seventies dirty beige look with some of this shiny gloopy plastic finish the chemists have just come up with.

Or

It’s got to be big and swirly, we need four colour ways and they must all contain a browny beige, never mind about the drawing just trace it from a tablecloth or something. Work some teal in there it’s on trend.

I took mother some strawberries ,and when I was home this evening we had the summer pudding made yesterday with the help of No1 son. I should mention he has a bit of a pudding thing, one Christmas I was presented with a handwritten list of essential cakes and puddings to make it a memorable holiday-about sixteen.

The only surviving person to have lived in one of these houses ever since it was built went off today in a taxi to try out a nursing home. Both sad and difficult, but being cared for at home gets very complicated sometimes and there can be too many services needed to co-ordinate effectively. It goes without saying that they do not co-ordinate with each other it falls to the person arranging the care.

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

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