Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Inspiring Times

With Delia almost done, it's time to start thinking about what to paint next. To be honest, I am still thinking of all the wonderful inspiration from the RHS Shades of Autumn Show last week, and can't quite make my mind up what subject to do first. You know how it is, there are so many ideas crashing about in your head, and you can't quite settle on one. So with fuchsias, anemone, cyclamen and leaves aplenty, this may take some time. Earlier this week, I described this as being something of a 'crisis of creativity. Like a storm brewing, it cannot be avoided'. 

Well, it'll pass in a day or two, and once I have done a few thumbnail sketches of this and that, something will grab me. Of course, the garden is heading to that time of year where it's a bit spartan and bare, but there are still the lovely berries, seed heads and colourful leaves to enjoy. Someone once said to me, there is always something to paint, (even if it means popping to the shops).

So, once Delia is done, I'll be off again.

Working on the middle of the dahlia.
Using a fairly strong mix of Perylene Maroon, Indanthrene Blue
and just a touch of Lemon, the greyish colour works quite well.

Anthraquinoid Red also worked in this mix, (instead of the maroon)
for the cooler areas.
Many layers were needed to build up the right depth. 

Nearly there

This week at Squirrel HQ sees the first of my garden studio workshops getting under way. Really can't wait to have people in my own little haven, all chatting, discussing and of course producing botanical art. I must admit to being a little nervous too, as this will be the first time, I have invited students to my home. It feels rather like a royal visit, with the amount of tidying, cleaning and re-cleaning. I'm okay with 'Tumbledown Towers', but what will they make of it. Crikey! The revival is nearly complete. Should be loads of fun, and of course I will be baking one of my carrot cakes too, (cake hides a multitude of sins I have discovered).

I've even re-potted the baskets,
with lovely autumn stuff

And now we have a light,
 to stop me from tripping up the step in the dark evenings.  

Is it okay to get excited over laminate?
Well I do, and it's great to have a proper floor at last.

The coat hook was a great find from Graham & Green
Table and chairs from Ikea, as is the hanging birdcage, (there's another one at the other end too).
(I used car spray paint to give the birds a subtle blue colour rather than the bright yellow they come in)

Next up, shelves, some of my work on the walls and a home for all of my reference books.
Oh, and a proper ceiling too.

This time of year is so special as there is a sense of ending, but also the last flush of surprise colour before the winter sets in. These last few days have been gloriously warm, and it looks like we might continue to be lucky into the weekend.

Clearing out the corner flower bed of faded Cosmos, I found what remains of my gorgeously regal artichoke. The spot had become something of a mad tangle of flowers and seed heads, and things had got hidden away. Even now, as it decays, there is something stunningly beautiful about an artichoke. Contrasting with the youthful vibrancy of the cyclamen, it sums up the season perfectly. Well Archie, I'll be back to paint you next year, as will you.

A little bowl of cyclamen to welcome my students and give a bit of colour to a water butt.
Also, my lovely artichoke, the last of the lavender
and a cyclamen seed pod.

Stately until the very end. 


Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Jarnie - just catching up on a few of your posts. Congratulations on your acceptance by RHS. You certainly deserve it because your art is awesome. Love Delia...just beautiful. Also good luck with your classes in your new studio - it looks like it is already to go. Have a great week-end. Was so nice to catch up with you.

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Hi Debbie. Great to hear from you again, I hope you are keeping well. Thanks you for your kind support, really happy with how things are going just now. x