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Posts Tagged ‘strawberry’

Shirley Poppy III – a painting a day

June 17, 2010 Leave a comment

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

The Geography is over there is no more to do on that. There remain two Science papers and Citizenship and Food Technology.

Not much of a idea on how to revise Citizenship as I don’t have a clue what it is.

I have continued with the Shirley poppy as it really is very beautiful and it has attracted a lot of attention on e-bay. Today’s version is done without any pencil drawing just freehand paint.

After his exam No1 son said it was the day to make a strawberry pie. There is a family recipe which is really quite special for making pies with the softest of the soft fruits i.e. strawberries and raspberries.

The recipe was taught to my mother by her eldest aunt, Florrie, she was a very keen cook who would turn her hand to everything from breadmaking and potato pie to whole salmon and jugged hare (which I have never eaten ). There is no way of knowing if the recipe comes from a book of the time or if it was handed down in the family. If it is a family recipe then it is a dish from the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Strawberries and raspberries lose a lot of liquid when mixed with sugar, liquid makes pastry soggy. So you make a rich sweet pastry with butter, roll out a bottom, cover with fruit and then place the top on without sealing it with water. Once the pie is cooked you gently( with fishslices and palette knives)loosen and lift the lid onto a clean plate, you scatter six teaspoons of sugar over the fruit and add five small knobs of butter unsalted is best. Slide the lid back into place and serve warm. This stands well on its own without the addition of either custard or cream and is blooming marvellous as Father Christmas would say.

I picked 10 oz of strawberries today but the boys picked 5lb 6oz, making six pounds…I think we need to make more jam. I also picked two ripe berries from the new strawberry plants which are supposed to be late crop. Ideally we will arrange it so that we have half and half of the two next year.

#78 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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Iris and bud –a painting a day

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

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

This is me being a tag tart.

I was so surprised to find that my rapidly put down on paper picture of an Iris got more hits on e-bay than anything else I have offered for sale on its first night that I am inclined to experiment and discover which is the most popular flower image wise. My guess is it will be either a poppy or a sunflower but it could be a lily of some sort.

 There is a sort of freedom attached to the daily blog thing as you do a picture and move on to the next thing. It seems worth not getting too repetitive in order to reflect the seasons and to entertain the readers /viewers. Ordinarily I might not choose to do sunflowers for example as they can look just a bit clichéd. Having said that, I did put them in the background of my picture of pumpkins that won the prize at the Summer Exhibition in Botswana, and it was a picture I was happy with. Irises I could paint until the cows come home as they are so interesting . There are three triangular arrangements of three petals, three standing up, three falling downwards and three reaching out. Then to make it even more complicated there is the beard which could be a tiny upturned scrubbing brush if it weren’t for its clean gold colour. There are also the spiralling buds in a colour so dark I always think I’ve got a black one until they unfurl.

I include here photo of one of the best garden Alliums for floral display…the star of the backdoor bed …I give you the humble and very useful Chive!

Also a picture taken, on a sunny day, of the half moon border; the pansies are a proper purple yet they look an inky blue in this shot (and all the others I took) Today’s painting, an Iris given longer to develop on paper, is actually rather bluer than it has photographed. That is most likely a problem with the artificial lighting but the pansies were taken in daylight so should come out closer to true hue.

The other thing I did today was to go to the gym to get some help with my knee problems. Not really my natural environment, I said I’d never been before which the instructor found hard to believe.” What not even when you were younger …at school?” she said, I looked at the rows of grey and black torture apparatus and had to say “I don’t think any of this had been invented when I was at school”. I mean we had a dusty old leather horse that you could be asked to jump over, but it was definitely not cool to do so with any sort of skill. If the Gym Mistress did not roll her eyes in despair, you had failed dismally. I tried not to be too gloomy and did my practice five minutes on everything but I really can’t imagine how people manage to go to the gym for pleasure. Afterwards my knee hurt and I don’t think it is supposed to.

Alison

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

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Iris –a painting a day

May 31, 2010 Leave a comment

 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday.   size 4.5 in x 7.5 in 11cm x 18cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Well apart from the fact that my blog provider appears to have forgotten who I am… or a child has done something to the computer that means that I am not cookie friendly with the blog provider anymore it’s been a very mixed day with some good parts.

The shed is in the main intact and resurrected in a new position behind the garage. This is a good thing for the garden for the shed, being very cheap for the size, is not a thing of beauty. The only sheds that are things of beauty seem to be either very old and about to fall down, or very very expensive.

The forget-me-nots are all going over and need pulling I have started on this job and can see that once I have done the forget-me-nots I will be going back for the Geranium pyrenaicum which is getting too frequent in a number of beds. I tackle the forget-me-nots on a need to cull basis…the tattiest ones go first  and then I will clear a patch where something else needs planting, By the next day another lot will need taking out.

Alison

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

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One early peach – a painting a day

May 30, 2010 Leave a comment

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

This was another day of shed mania, the shed needed putting back up and because it was taken down in lumps rather than all its components it needed carrying across flower beds and under the apple tree in ungainly, liable to break, bits. It needed all four of us and not all of us enjoyed the experience so attentions wandered and bits started wobbling off in the wrong direction.

It has been so busy I did not even attempt a Sunday joint.

Anyway the painting is a very wet picture of one of the little peaches, by tomorrow they will all be gone, the smell is just too tempting. In fact its still wet and may well have altered as it dries by tomorrow!!I actually did two painting but the one of the chive flowers went pear shaped so here instead is a photo.

I went to the allotment briefly today and discovered that there was good news and bad news: the first strawberry had ripened but a slug had eaten right through it in the night. I really hate slugs with a slow evil abiding passion.

On the topic of slugs and snails, it was damp last night so they were out in force (crunch crunch), however on the allotment it was as though the rain had never been, the surface was dry and cracked. The rain gauge showed only 0.2 inches of rain, not enough to make the water butt overflow. I want more, a lot more

Alison

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

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Three strawberries – a painting a day

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday size 5inx6in 13cmx15cm watercolour on heavyweight rag paper

The strawberry theme continues although there is some background here. I have made this very loose and applied the paint wet on wet and then in some places flooded it with oxgall.

Today I put out a big group of Tiarella seedlings in the shady area that got flattened recently following the build. The soil is very patchy; there are areas where I was digging holes and then throwing into the hedge base the yellow lumps of clay that I dug out. At least if I scrape around there are bits of soil to be found in places. I watered all the young plants very well and top dressed with a mixture of mulch and chicken manure pellets. There were one or two little seedlings of some species geranium that had emerged from the compost after I pricked out the baby Tiarellas. I hope they don’t mind shade.

I also went looking for patio pot survivors from last year , this was quite productive, I have four white fuchia Annabel, four fuchia in shades of pink trailing which made it indoors overwinter, several Erigeron Profusion which is trying to flower, two diascias, several rooted cuttings of Pelagonium on the kitchen window sill plus three parent plants and lots of trailing nepeta which is also starting to flower. In addition there are two good plants of fuchia Thalia indoors still. One or two pots that I have dragged out from shelter have some interesting looking seedlings too. I only really need to buy some lobelia as I have one e-bay pack of mixed hanging basket plants being brought on.

Things are really moving fast in the garden, lots of big hitters are out or ready to go any minute . The clematis Montana is almost out , the honeysuckle Dropmore Scarlet likewise. There is a delicate bush honey suckle opening with pink flowers L. tartarica I think .

My star bit of permanent planting is at its peak, here is a sequence of photographs. First shows the tulips still in bud and yeaterday there they are open in the sun. You can just make out the striped leaves.

The art exhibition was better than expected although it was clear that another class had had one really good project that exhibited very well and looked like they had enjoyed it.

Alison

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

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A sweet strawberry – a painting a day

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Sold  4.5″x6″ 11cm x 15cm watercolour on heavyweight rag paper

I was out of order here as I could have bought some English strawberries grown under plastic but they were the favourite with the growers Elsanta and they always disappoint on taste. I suppose they last a long time on the shelf and work better for the supermarket, but a strawberry is nothing without taste and perfume. So unless I require something sturdy and scarlet to decorate a cake or display I shall not buy Elsanta; it is ruining the reputation of strawberries everywhere.

This strawberry filled the studio near me with its perfume which was quite a task as the garlic from yesterday is still there.

Today I went to Sheffield Park a very beautiful garden belonging to the National Trust near here. I took my paints but there was too much there for me to settle and find a small subject for a quick small picture. The highest of the lakes was covered in waterlilies and something with oblong leaves and pretty frilly white flowers. I should have liked to try that but it would have been an all day task. A swan crossed the lake perhaps thinking my painting bag contained crusts.

There were dogwoods with big flowers, soft deep purple cones on low growing firs and more azaleas, magnolias and rhododendrons than the mind can take in easily.

At home the plants are finally going into the area formerly known as the Somme. Last night husband transplanted the magnolia, I know it’s very late but there is rain due at the weekend. It will need cosseting with regular water all summer now. Two of the bamboos went in  and most of the rest of the planting it placed on the surface…the gaps are huge as this will be an area of big plants providing screening and a backdrop. It’s going to look rubbish for a couple of years at least. I am also going to have to find a cheap and cheerful temporary groundcover plant.

It will be No.1sons GCSE art exhibition (the one he forgot to mention) this evening .  A must see, my friend and I wish they would put the boys and girls stuff separately as we can’t help expecting that the girls will have done so much more.

Alison

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

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