Friday, 3 May 2013

Press the Refresh Button!

Ah, spring has finally arrived. Like a breath of fresh air, the windows are open, flowers are on the table and once again the spring clean of equipment is underway. Every year I like to give my little studio a bit of TLC and get rid of 'stuff'. This year already, I made a start on outing the last dregs of my old life as a teacher, books, papers and an endless supply of pens and pencils all had to go! On the list of new stuff coming in? A new chair, some proper cupboards and drawer space, oh yes, and a new studio please.

Elegant tulips finally make their appearance after a cold start.

The bluebells in our little 'woodland' make a pretty display
and remind me of home. 

They might be Spanish, but they are still lovely. 

Once again, the Bramley's are coming along nicely.

This week saw the arrival of an exciting parcel from Ireland. Yes, the new Irish Society of Botanical Artists, (ISBA) has started a wonderful project, and the arrival of my materials suddenly made it real for me. Led by the lovely and talented Mary Dillon and a committee of highly commended artists, 'An Irish Botanical Alphabet' requires artists to create an illuminated letter from the Irish alphabet using native wildflowers. Luckily, my subject grows on chalk downland, bless Mary for that as I am close to The South Downs, which is about as chalky as you can without being on the White Cliffs of Dover! Anyway, come June I will be all over those downs hunting out that curiously named, Yellow Wort (Blackstonia perfoliata).

So this is what I am looking for.

And this is what it's like
(image and text courtesy of  my copy of
Wild Flowers by Sarah Raven) 

The Irish letter 'D'
The tracing I will use for planning and composition.
Not a straight edge in sight.
French Curves came in handy to keep those outlines smooth. 

Good job I kept hold of these, 'just in case'.

Elsewhere, there is a terrifyingly important project on the horizon, which I am trying to fathom out in my head. Once I do get this thing off the ground, all will be revealed. Elsewhere though, the new camera is being put through it's paces. Still not sure if it is quite what I am after, so I will have to make up my mind whether or not to keep it. Did you like how I changed the subject there? Subtle!


Claire said...

Its an exciting project isn't it. I can't wait to get started but no idea on how to do it yet!!Yellow wort looks really beautiful,I've never found it before.

Tipulida said...

Ah, spring - I whish it could come to Sweden also. The temperatures are ok now, but due to an unusall Cold, long and dry winter everything in nature is sort of waiting. I was out in the forest the other day and everything was completely whitered, the blueberry bushses was brown and dry, no berries this summer I suppose.

renatabarillipainter said...

I like The Irish Botanical Alphabet project and this "Centauro giallo" that you have to draw is really interesting. I hope to meet it somewere here, as it is present in Italy too. I'm sure you are going to do a marvellous work,

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Hi Claire, just working on composition now, hopefully the plant won't be too tricky to hunt down.

Tipulida, hoping spring reaches you soon. The cokd has been with us all for far too long, now we need some warmth.

Hello Renata, hoping to post a progress report soon, so you can see how it's shaping up.