The third beautiful day in a row. What’s gone wrong? Although I wasn’t able to get out until later than usual, I had time to do another entry in my 10 x 8″ Stillman & Birn Beta series softback sketchbook.
It was a most beautiful morning, one which could easily have been mistaken for summer. Certainly the warmest we have had so far this year. A clear blue sky, lovely sun and hardly any breeze. So still, and, on my walk at least, the only sound came from birds calling from the trees, and a bee which was determined to follow me for part of the way. I paused to sketch the Roundhouse from an angle I don’t think I have done in a while. I’m hoping the weather might be a sign of things to come – at least for a few days anyway.
A weekend spent in the garden preparing for what we all hope will be a good summer. It is tempting to start planting seedlings but we are still having frosty nights. Lovely to see the Bluebells starting to come out and loads of Forget-me-nots. Things are certainly on the move.
Some seeds are taking a long time to do what they are supposed to. I don’t know if it is the weather or the peat-free compost we all have to use. Does anyone actually like the stuff?
This morning I had time to paint in the garden while waiting for a delivery. I took the pots of tulips on the steps as my focus and grabbed the sun while it was there. It was lovely to feel some warmth at last. I used a lot of yellow ochre here, in the walls and steps and combined with cadmium scarlet for the pots. It is also in the foreground with some winsor violet. Such a versatile colour and especially useful in garden and landscape painting.
As the day wore on, the clouds rolled in and it became much chillier – and the delivery didn’t arrive until much later.
Well, we all know April can be capricious, but having spent yesterday pottering in the garden, thinking how lovely it was in the sun, I really did not think we would get up this morning to a blanket of snow. April showers, I suppose.
It is just as well I made a quick sketch as soon as I was able, as it had mostly disappeared by lunchtime. Proof once more that you should never put off a sketch until another time. The chances are it will never be the same.
As I came to the last page of my current sketchbook, I noticed that the small tulips, planted in a pot I painted a few weeks ago, were just starting to come through. What better way of ending one sketchbook before starting another ?
Coming back indoors, I heard the sad news of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, two months before his 100th birthday. Truly the end of an era.
Playing with ideas to start the upcoming term, to get everyone back into painting following the Easter recess. Hopefully it won’t be long before we are able to sketch outside which will be good for us all. But not just yet. Today it has been trying to snow.
There is not much left of March this year, but at least it is ending on a mild note with warmer than average temperatures. Much more a lamb than a lion. It doesn’t seem five minutes since I was painting mince pies, and now it’s hot cross buns. The one thing they have in common this year is that both are home-made.
With April coming up fast, I’m hoping the mild weather will continue for at least some of it, and we will all be able to spend a bit more time outside with a suitable number of others.
The sketchbook I am nearing the end of at the moment has turned out to be much more of a floral affair than usual. I’ve painted daffodils in the garden before, plenty of times, but I haven’t often painted a hyacinth. This one is out the front of the house, and I think there are a few more on the way which look as if they are going to be much darker.
As we are now able to meet other people in our gardens, and there are signs that lockdown is to be lifted gradually over the next few weeks, this might be an appropriate moment to be ending one sketchbook and opening another.
The house has been full of bouquets recently, not from the garden, but delivered by post (some flat-packed!). All have been lovely and thankfully survived their various ordeals in reaching us. This rose in particular caught my eye today and I wanted to sketch it before the petals begin to drop. I used a Winsor yellow and an Indian yellow and a touch of Cadmium scarlet.