Monday, 30 May 2011

Colour from the Season - Rose petal dessert!

Although I knew that Rose petals were edible - until today I hadn't eaten them. I've drunk rose water in Morocco and used rose oil in India. Today, I decided to try eating a few of the different rose petals from my garden. The white (bitter) portion of the petals should be removed first and the roses must be chemical and pesticide free. I read that they tasted of apples and strawberries and they do have something of that about them - but it's a more unique taste, very fragrant, perfect with desserts and champagne..!

For more info on edible flowers this is quite a good page. Rose petal tea anyone ?
(happy birthday Anya x)

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Colour from the Season - Oak leaf green

It's Royal Oak day tomorrow and I know this because it was on the Today programme this morning. Apparently it was made so over 350 years ago by an Act of Parliament (click here for the full story). Things to do on this day include eating Plum Pudding, enjoying a pint of Royal Oak Ale and if at all possible in a Royal Oak Inn. The leaves of the Oak are a fresh and verdant green at the moment - wear a few sprigs to mark the occasion..!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

The little things - studio magic!

The little things in life that make the difference...

...Last weekend I went away and when I returned, I discovered that the fairies had cleared the entire end of the studio!

I should explain...

In a couple of weeks time I'm opening the studio (with a few friends) for two weekends during the North Devon Festival for Art Trek ( June 10th, 11th 12th and 17th 18th and 19th). My first studio opening for 5 years and hopefully the start of many more!

I'm busy printing for this as well as other exhibitions, just making the work has been pretty full on.

The "gallery" space at the end of the studio has been full of building materials left over from the floor being re-laid, so many boxes and wood and rubbish, not to mention a table tennis table, which I've been mainly ignoring! Just had no idea what I was going to do with it all!

I came home and discovered that it had all gone - like magic! all that's to be done is finish printing, paint a few plinths and hang the work. Amazing!

(so huge thank you to Pete (and Josse) for that fantastic surprise!) ( at the other end) getting on with some printing!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Colour from the season - Purple Beech purple

Arm in arm in the woodland are the Purple and the Common Beech. Right now the colours of the bright green leaves (Common) look amazing against the glossy dark leaves (Purple) - seemed a shame to separate their colours when they were looking so good together, so here they both are...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Colour from the season - Rosa Rugosa Pink

"Capturing the freedom and graciousness of nature. "

The wild Rosa Rugosa is a fabulous rose. Chip and I pass a number of them on our morning walk. They have a very strong perfume, amazing hips in the autumn, are seriously bushy and some are this shocking pink colour.

Colour is what this notebook is about, but lately I've drawn the plant as well. Here, for the first time, I documented the growth of the drawing. All the photos below show stages where I considered stopping as I liked the drawing enough. There's always the thought that any more might just over do it and it could lose the vitality that I'm hoping to capture. Usually those stages are lost.  By photographing them, I was able to re- visit these points in the progression and consider with hindsight whether I should have stopped there or not...?!

rough sketched outline and first ink marks - I liked this very unfinished effect.

outlining the leaves and detailing of the stamens, maybe I should have stopped here?

bringing depth into the centre of the flower, tonal wash added to the leaves.

All the outline pen work finished - a line too far?

tea break while the ink dried, then the first splash of colour.


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...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Colour from the season - Ribwort Plantain yellow

Ribwort some people it's only a weed...actually its a wild flower.  Well...I like the name, I like the structure and I like the colours, but most of all it's the nostalgic memories of firing the flower heads that I really love about this wild flower. In case there's anyone out there who hasn't enjoyed this simple pleasure - below you can see how to do it..!

(very noisy birds !)
...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Colour from the season - Poppy Pink

Crepe pleated Poppies and little stripy snails are invasive in the front garden at this time of the year.  I used to fill buckets with snails and re - locate them a few miles down the road. There's no point flinging them into your neighbour's garden because they have an in built sat-nav (BBC's Homing snails experiment) and they really do come back..!

I love them - (poppies and snails!)

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Colour from the season - Clematis Montana Pink

This Clematis Montana is in the garden, sprawling along a fence. When fully in flower and on a sunny day the whole garden smells of vanilla. A sensitive colour combination of chalky pink flowers, vibrant green to yellow stamens and the deepest red/purple wildly rampant stems. Need I say more..?

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Colour from the season - Rosa Maigold

Masses of blowsy flowers at the moment from this very old thorny rose outside the front door. It never fails to be amazing and you can smell it halfway down the street. I've drawn it quite a lot as you see below! - it was the inspiration for my design - Rosetta Glory...

works in progress...

Rosetta Glory design for fabric and trays - shown here in the Indigo colourways...

May - my favourite month!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.