Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Getting the Munchies

Yesterday was such a lovely day, and I got so carried away with making the most of it, that I forgot to put up a new post. Sorry about that. Sunshine and blue skies finally arrived and the time came for picking some of the strawberries in the garden and having a bit of a tidy up after the recent high winds. Beautifully ripe and juicy, the strawberries made a gorgeous pud with some homemade shortcakes and clotted cream. After a hard day, these were a little indulgent yes, but often, no.

Fresh from the garden.
Just halved and left to sit for a couple of hours
sprinkled with a teaspoon of vanilla sugar. 
This year has been so hard going on some of the veggies and fruits we are attempting to grow, with the cold, damp and murky days throughout May and June stopping lots of our plants from growing. And the slugs and snails have had a fine old time munching on my squash. And I really wanted to paint them this year. Oh well, at least we will have some homemade rhubarb jam and there are loads of raspberries and blackberries on the way. Oh and beans too. Not all bad then.
Work, of course, is never far away and the bramble study is coming along quite well. Of course this plant has been a lot easier to find as it grows rampantly throughout our wilderness of a garden. Lots of tiny buds and opening flowers will give plenty of variety, showing the plant at different stages of development, and the leaves are always interesting as they tend to have a lace doily effect of munch holes. Working in the sketchbook, I am using lots of fresh zingy greens and wet-in-wet washes for the leaves. Having got into the habit of mixing my own greens, I find Indanthrene Blue and French Ultramarine really useful, along with Transparent Yellow, Lemon Yellow and Aureolin. To knock the colour back a bit, I will often add Light Red or Perylene Maroon to a green mix, giving more tone and shadow mixes. Bramble leaves also have a reddish tinge here and there, especially on the serrations at the edge. Again, for this I have found mixes using Perylene Maroon, Alizarin Crimson and Brown Madder useful, mixing rusty shades with Transparent Yellow, Lemon Yellow and Aureolin to get a good range. Mixing a touch of the green into the red gives a darker mix for shadows and the tips of the serrations.

From the sketchbook.
A lacy doily of a leaf, with wet-in-wet washes
and some dry brush details.
getting a feel for how I need to work. 

This is the look I am aiming for.
Julia Trickey really is superb at leaves   

Phew! And after all that, the paintings are now back from the framers ready for their trip to Ireland and the Claregalway Botanical Art Expo. Lots of comfy packaging will be needed and then, off they go. Oh, and I have just got myself a couple of new Stillman and Birn sketchbooks.

Keeping it simple, what do you think?
Really happy to see my work in a frame at last. 

Now to say goodbye.
Well, maybe just for a little while.


1 comment:

Carol Hopper said...

Lovely work. I think the framing works very well and shows the paintings off without detracting from them. Carol.