One of the greatest joys of the year is to see the fields of lavender in July, and this year is no exception. It is confirmation that Nature carries on regardless. One compensation of this strange year is that it seems to have been a good one for the garden, whether you grow flowers, fruit or vegetables. It is a reminder that such simple pleasures can do so much for our well-being and mental health in difficult times.
This little sketch was done from the side of the road in my small moleskine sketchbook. Check back soon for more from this location.
The rain does have it’s good points. The vegetables are thriving. They are lovely to paint, even though I realized afterwards that I got the angle of the little patty pan squash wrong. Vegetables are often overlooked as subjects for sketching as their fruity rivals are somehow seen as ‘prettier’ or more colourful, but I like them just as much.
I hadn’t intended to paint a poppy today, chiefly because I didn’t know it was there, hiding at the back of a border in the garden. In weather such as we are having at the moment I know it is unlikely to be there long before its petals drop. I think it is an Oriental poppy, but how it came to be where it is, I don’t know. However it got there, it turned out to be a survivor, fighting its way up through the other more established plants, pushing its head up with a determination to be seen. It warmed my day.
A sketch of a little geranium and friend in the garden between rain showers. I am hoping to paint another version of this to turn into a greetings card in due course. The plant was found looking very bedraggled and weary on a forgotten shelf at the garden centre for only a few pence. Since it found a friend in our garden it looks as if it is going to be a lot more cheerful!
On a walk from my home towards the Slaughters (Upper and Lower), one passes some fields where ponies often graze. Look beyond them and one can glimpse what looks like a barn or a shelter camouflaged among the trees. This turns out to be the Cotswold Brewing Company, established in 2005, making modern keg beers. One day, when normality returns, I will have to walk around to the other side and have a closer look at it – and it’s produce..
Painted in Moleskine sketchbook.
I walk or drive past this view most days and what always thrills me is the big dark tree against the building. Today being very grey, I painted the house with yellow ochre with some of the grey of the sky. The subject is also a mini exercise in mixing greens, varying from yellow and permanent sap green on top of the hedge, darkened with french ultramarine, to a much greyer green in the main tree using very little yellow with french ultramarine and some indian red to achieve a very different green. Painted in a moleskine watercolour sketchbook.
The Beetroot in the garden are growing very well this year, probably because they were not decimated by slugs and other critters at the early critical stage of their lives.
As anyone who grows their own vegetables will tell you, home grown taste so much better than anything you can find in the supermarkets. This week I wanted to paint a beetroot before preparing it for the cooking pot. I love the dark red stems and veins which I mixed with permanent rose and permanent magenta with a little French Ultramarine. I used Saunders Waterford HP paper.
A garden sketch today. As I looked around for a suitable subject, these Squash leaves caught my eye. They look as though they are making a bid for freedom from the vegetable patch. If only they could get over that wall ! Of course there are a lot of other things growing near by including some broad beans supported by canes in the background, but I made the rest of the background into a very simple pale wash in the hope it would keep the interest focused on the squash leaves.
Wanting to paint outside today, the only chance I had was just as a large black cloud rolled up, looking most threatening. I knew I only had a small amount of time before it began to rain. A quick drawing in my sketchbook would have to do. I wanted to show the dark clouds and the bit of brighter sky on the horizon behind the trees. I would have liked to have had a bit more time to make a better job of the clouds but I only just finished before the rain reached me.
The hot weather continues despite warnings of thunder to come. It is always a welcome surprise to come across a field which has recently been cut. Even when you suffer from hay fever the sight of bales standing in a field draws me like a magnet and is something I look forward to every year. Even these ready wrapped ones are enticing and I wanted to sketch them before they are collected and taken off to a barn somewhere.