Thursday, 29 September 2011

Colour from the season - Chrysanthemum burnt orange

I love Chrysanthemums and it seemed to me when I visited 100%Design last week, that the rich slightly burnt deep orange I sampled from these locally grown ones, happens to be pretty much spot on trend at the moment.

I particularly like them alongside the acid yellow/green from their inner petals and the much gentler muted pink petals and green and brown of their stems. Couldn't leave any colours out when they were looking this good together. So here they are, squeezed in, all seven colours..!

...some stills from the fab light show projected at the entrance to 100%Design this year.

mesmerising colour...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Colour from the Season - Beech nut brown

In May the colours of this Purple Beech were deep purple black, greys and pinks. Now the September colours of these large beautiful trees which I walk beneath on my daily outings with Chip are turning every shade of rich red to orange, darkest brown blacks, and ochre greens.

Each nut form is a clever three sided triangle, and within each hairy case, two nuts fit together snugly. From a purely design perspective they are technically very interesting! Beech nuts are edible - I loved them a lot as a child and I ate these after I'd drawn them, the first time for quite a few years! The flavour is sweet and nutty, but because they're small and mostly shell - they're mainly left for the squirrels...

May colours of Purple and Common Beech (together).

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Colour from the Season - blackberry black

In London over a month ago I noticed that the brambles were already laden with ripe blackberries. Here in Devon, they've been set back by the weather this year, are small in comparison and are still ripening. The blackberries at Woolacombe dunes at the moment are these very intense shades of vivid red and green next to black, have a sharp sweetness to them and are the most vicious bramble thorns I think I've ever come across...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Colour from the Season - Tree Peony pod green

Wow - lovely pods! A friend brought an enormous branch of this tree peony round the other day, which she described as the bog standard yellow flowering one!

When they arrived the leaves were spikily alive, the pods tightly closed. The following day the pods had split open to reveal highly glossy (olive like) seeds, shining out in sharp contrast against the matt white inner pod and bright acid colours of the exterior shell and stems. Pretty fantastic for something bog standard..!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Colour from the Season - Hydrangea blue

Love the rain? Hydrangeas do and its been a great year for them! We visited Clovelly the other day, it was a fabulously sunny morning, but as we set off in the early afternoon the clouds were gathering and it started to rain pretty much on cue as we arrived. On a positive note, at least there was room at the inn when we reached the harbour!

This lace-wing hydrangea had a cloudless palette of blue and blue/greens - unlike the sky...

'Doom Bar' in the Red Lion Hotel
(the great names of British beer!)

what comes down must go back up along..!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Colour from the Season - Dahlia & Chrysanthemum white

"...white is a colour. It is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. When, so to speak your pencil grows red-hot, it draws roses; when it grows white hot, it draws stars." - extract from 'A Piece of Chalk' - Chesterton, G.K. (1909)

Yesterday I was wondering about white. How flowers that we consider to be white are hardly that at all. These white Dahlias and Chrysanth's have a range of fresh yellows, set against red/browns in the stems of the Chrysanth's and acid greens of their sepals and leaves.

G.K. Chesterton's short essay which the extract above was taken from - about colour, (and other philosophical thoughts) worth a read. You can find the whole essay here...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Colour from the Season - Sloe berry blue

A few days ago I read a poignant blog post by Rob Ryan - he's started a new blog separate from the one he writes about his (brilliant) work. This one is called 'You can still do a lot with a small brain'. His post 'Not even September yet blues' voices how I've been feeling since my son Josse left home to study graphics in London last September. He captures the feeling perfectly.

There's also been other things that just piled up on top and which meant that my usual ability to self motivate and bounce back seemed to have abandoned me.

When I started this section of my blog on seasonal colour, my first post was sloe berries. It consisted of just two colours and a photo. Eleven months on and I'm up-dating and refining it to include more of the colours found in the whole branch, adding a sketch and also below the drawing as it developed. It somehow seems fitting to be posting something sloe and something blue to mark this time of change.

Documenting these seasonal colours, out and about gathering the occasional cutting from here and there(!) with the lovely Chip has been a kind of therapy. Always intended just to be for it's own sake, this colour notebook has in fact been amazing for a multitude of reasons and on many levels. It's developed my knowledge of plants, I now know a lot about poisons, recipes, feathers, and all sorts of other odd things. I notice colours that I once would have passed by and I spot colour in the bleakest of places. My drawing and creativity has developed by default as I've progressed and it's (mostly) kept me sane this year, with a little help from my friends...

Sloe development...

The morning was sunny - not a bad start - bit shaky...

A nice rabbity looking sloe, but nearly gave up on the drawing at this point because the berries were too heavily outlined and yes still pretty shaky - but it was also very sunny

the ink was drying on the nib quickly in the sun - had to work fast (the music on my ipod by Little Dragon was slow)...

colour (acrylic) focus on the berries - a splash of colour to the leaves and branch...

always adding colour - Chip x

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...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.