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.
Another sketchbook entry from flowers which dominate the front garden at the moment and looking their best.
As an antidote to painting 100 people last week, I wanted to find something a little less demanding with no time frame looming over me. So now Spring is here, I decided to turn my attention to the garden, a subject without end as soon it will change every day once things start to grow. Also, although it may not happen for a while yet, the weather will become drier and warmer, and we will be able to sit outside without being battered by the wind.
At last the garden is beginning to come to life again, it is very blue and yellow at this time of the year- our favourite colours. We are short on Tulips however and last year we planted some bulbs in various pots to see if anything would happen, and I am pleased to say that some leaves are emerging. With any luck we may even have some flowers at some point and I will be able to paint them again.
98 – 99 – 100 !
Although I only had three people to find on the final day, I found it harder than coping with a cast of thousands. I spent quite a bit of time thinking of a composition which might work, but do you think anyone would arrange themselves into the positions I wanted? Of course not, so I had to improvise, which I should have known to begin with. Always go with what’s there – not with preconceived ideas.
Thank you to Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel for coming up with the idea in the first place. It’s been fun.