Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Flowers Always Bring Me Joy

Hello Friends!

Not only am I gratefully heartened and encouraged by those of you who've taken the time to write such kind and lovely comments recently, I'm happy to know that my efforts have made some of you want to pick up your paints and brushes again yourselves.  Joyful times of creating lie ahead!

I am still plodding on with ICAD, but am anxious to finish it now so that I can give myself permission to move on to something else.  Ten more today, and the final nine next time.

43/61  Freehand pen and ink


44/61  Impression inspired by the view from my desk, across the garden to the Rosa Rugosa and neighbouring trees beyond


45/61  Need to step back and chill.  I must accept I missed the end date {so did many others} and stop churning out rubbish just to complete.


46/61 Cornflowers, well, sort of cornflowers!


47/61  Imaginary image


48/61  Loosely based on the very colourful, municipal town planting in Haverfordwest that brought me much joy waiting in the bus stop for my connections on my long bus journeys, several days a week, to visit Mum in her care home.  A happier memory from a dark time of confusion and sadness.  Flowers always bring me joy.


49/61  I realised I needed a rose, so with a little online guidance, I bravely drew this freehand using gel pen directly on the washed card and tinted using Inktense.  E for Effort!  49 down, 12 to go!


50/61  Hanging basket.  A long time ago, our local council provided a pair of hanging baskets for each shop in the village.  Most did not take long to perish due to neglect, but one business watered daily and fed regularly, really taking good care of her gift, and her baskets were a sight to behold.


51/61   For years I've hankered after one of those big, bronze, rich burnt orange chrysanthemum potted plants for my porch during the Autumn months but can only ever find yellow and white in the shops.  Ironically, usually around Easter I can find the burnt orange ones, when the white and yellow would be more seasonally appropriate.


52/61  Just a doodle that went a bit astray using neon colour gel pens


Until next time
Stay safe, stay well

Thursday, 29 July 2021

ICAD Update

Hello Friends!

Due to unfortunate circumstances {thank you to those who've sent me kind messages of support and encouragement} I won't finish all 61 ICADs on time, but will keep plodding on until all are done.  Here are the next seven.

Imaginary arrangement in mixed media mark making


Inspired by seed heads seen on a walk, where land, sky, and sea meet


Nasturtiums using a large, very wet brush


Buddleia, mixed media


Poppy seed heads, mixed media

Inspired by, but looking nothing like, my Purple Sun osteospermum


41/61  Hydrangea 


Until next time
Stay safe, stay well.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Falling Behind with Everything

Hello Friends!

Yes, I'm falling behind with everything.  I think I have sciatica.  Remember I did No Mow May?  Well, June 1st I pulled out the mower and had the devil of a job to get it through the well overgrown lawn.  It was so hard I only managed about two thirds, and it took me about three times as long as normal.  On June 2nd, I woke up in pain and have been in pain ever since.  I haven't been for a walk since the end of May, and I am struggling to do simple, everyday things like cooking and washing dishes.  As they say, it is what it is, and is, with hindsight, self inflicted.  I have some morphine based pain killers, but they come with their own unwanted set of side effects.  Heigh ho!

So, I've struggled along for the month, but for the past fortnight I've chilled as best as I can, not bothered to dust or hoover, and watched Wimbledon, which I've enjoyed immensely, but have to say the crowds seem much noisier and rowdier than normal.

Being glued to Wimbledon means I have fallen behind by a few days on my ICAD, but if I'm late finishing, I'm late finishing. 

Five weeks down, three to go.

32/61

How could I not draw a pumpkin?  I am really eager to do this one on proper paper soon.  Water colour and ink.


33/61 I often revisit this shape and experiment with it.  Mixed media


34/61 a and b.  A stylised doodle.  Sometimes alcohol ink soaks through to make an interesting effect on the reverse.  I prefer the reverse.  What about you?



35/61  Imaginary doorway. Mixed media


As to the garden, I've forced myself to push the mower around once during June after that post No Mow May mow, and will try to do it again this week before the garden waste collection on Thursday.

However, the flowers continue to give their best, despite the neglect.  I really must do some dead heading soon.

The Crocosmia Lucifer is coming into it's own now.  I know it's not well loved, but I like it a lot, and it brings heat and colour to an otherwise very green corner.












Sorry the photos aren't brilliant, it's not easy hobbling on a stick and juggling a camera while in pain.

Another indulgence is watching reruns of Downton Abbey, currently on every evening from Monday to Friday, from the very beginning.  Will I ever tire of it?

I had some eggs to use up, so made this rich, dark, moist chocolate loaf style cake. I am experimenting using Pyrex dishes instead of tins at the moment.  It was very good, and this afternoon it's time to fill the cake tin again, so I'm going to bake Mary Berry's Almond and Chocolate cake from her Baking Bible, which is my favourite cake and baking book ever.

Bon Appetit!  This was delicious with syrupy sliced strawberries!


Thank you to everyone who has commented lately, I've read every comment and kind word.  Hope you are still able to follow now that Blogger has made yet more changes.  It's almost as if they don't want us any longer.

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well!

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

All the Sevens

Hello Friends

It's the 7th day of the 7th month in the year '21 {3x7} and it's seven years to the day since I typed this, which popped up on my Facebook Memories today.

"On the Seventh day of the Seventh month One Man, with the hopes of the Nation, plays in his Seventh Grand Slam final, Seventy Seven years since a Briton last lifted the trophy as Wimbledon Men's Singles Champion . . . it's going to be a HOT afternoon in more ways than one . . . and after last Wednesday and last Friday I haven't any nails left to bite . . ."

That's all

Until next time
Stay Safe, Stay Well

Sunday, 4 July 2021

ICAD Roundup Four

Hello Friends!

Thank you all those of you who have kindly taken time for your very kind and encouraging words about my art.  It is most appreciated.  Also, thank you for your comments on my flowers, in case I don't get around to replying, as I'm immensely enjoying Wimbledon.  You know it's good playing when they knock back the BBC News by an hour!

Well, last time it seems the poppy won the popular vote, hands down! Dare I ask you to pick another? I do especially like the courgettes, particularly 25/61.

I'm quite thrilled as I've been asked if I'm selling any!  Flattering as this is, no, I'm not as they are part of a collection, although I am working on one to make a picture as a gift.  What a dream of mine that would be, to support myself by selling my painting!  I've got a long way before that could happen.

So, the first month is up!  July is up and running, and beside ICAD being half way through, so is 2021.  How did that happen?

25/61

While waiting for the base colour to dry, I realised I was very happy with the courgette fruit, so, hard decision to make.  The first one is the base coloured one, the second is the finished image.  I managed to stay away from the fruit and just work on the flower!

Sakura Koi watercolours


26/61


27/61
Spring flowering crocus, mixed media


28/61  Stylised rudbeckia, alcohol ink pens


29/61 Alcohol ink and Derwent paint pens

30/61  Doodling with Derwent paint pens.  I think this shows how tired I am from lack of sleep!

31/61  This is the equivalent of Hump Day, we're half way!  Mixed media paints, gel pens, and paint pens.


For anyone who is keeping tabs, I have fallen behind, I should be on 34/61, I'm blaming it on Wimbledon!

Until next time
Stay safe, stay well

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Every One is My Favourite!

Hello Friends

It's July 1st and we're sitting under a cold blanket of sea fog that rolled in off the Atlantic last evening.  First thing this morning the heating came on, and I'm not sorry in the least, it's that chilly! I would rather this chilly fog than the searing temperatures in Pakistan and the Pacific North West.

I don't know why it is, but with each new flower that blooms, every one is my new favourite.

Rosa Mundi is now opening.  David Austin describes the fragrance as "old rose".  I describe it as intoxicating and divine.  I really must get these out of the pots though.



Alchemilla Mollis, or Ladies' Mantle.  One of the great doers in any garden.  It fills in gaps with large mounds of furry green leaves which come to life when covered with early morning dew, or after a fall of rain, when the hairy leaves gather the moisture into a thousand crystal jewels.  This dew is considered by Alchemists to be the most pure and precious, highly prized water of all for their magic.

At this time of year, the bright lime green yellow flowers open, and that acid pop of colour seems to compliment anything it flowers against, making everything sing.  The garden is a froth of puffs of yellow, and the stems are stunning in small floral arrangements.

You can throw almost anything at this plant and it will still come back, giving of it's best, year after year.




The dwarf clematis is now full of leaf!  Great joy that it has recovered so well.  It just goes to show how tenacious nature is.  Maybe the plants shall inherit the Earth after all?


The yellow rose is now opening in glorious clusters of sunshine



I bought these lavenders last Spring.  I followed the instructions to pot them up to bring them on before planting out but they didn't grow, not one inch, and I am very disappointed with them.  They looked so dishevelled in January that I nearly threw them out as a bad job, but I didn't.  Still nothing happened, but this Spring, in desperation, I put three plants into the border and they have done very little, and now I'm noticing yellowing of the leave, however, the ones still in the trays do suddenly seem to be putting on some spurt of growth, doubling in size and have produced some spikes.  I must prepare space for them, lickity split, to plant them out in the hopes all is not lost.  





I put down a layer of Strulch, an organic, mineralised straw mulch and soil enhancer and now wonder if that is causing the yellowing?

My fir tree 
which was not doing well after repotting is recovering nicely!  Sometimes all you need is to give plenty of TLC, and have a lot of patience!



Finally, even though Summer is only just here, there's that early reminder that Autumn, with all her glorious bounty, is just around the corner.


Until next time
Stay safe, stay well

p.s. due to this being Wimbledon fortnight, comments may be delayed in publishing and may not get an immediate reply!