Thursday, 26 June 2014

Colour from the Season - Foxglove purple (update)

It's only taken three years to finish this pencil sketch! I first documented Foxglove colours in June 2011 and here they are again, lining the hedgerows of Exmoor and the North Devon coast and waving a gentle reminder to resolve my sketch. So...

...the darkest as well as the lightest purple magenta flowers; next comes the fresh green of the flower bud; the muted green of the stem and lastly a deep warm red/brown edging the leaves this year. You can't bottle it!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Colour from the Season - Gorse yellow

In Spring, Exmoor and the North Devon cliff paths are ablaze with the uplifting yellow of Gorse but lucky for me, it continues to flower throughout the year. As the old saying goes..."When the Whins (Gorse) are out of bloom, kissing's out of fashion".

I loved drawing this Gorse, I'd felt dispirited for a couple of days and drawing such a intricately detailed shrub was daunting. Once I started I drew for about 6hrs (with quite a break in the middle). After about two hours, I noticed that I was feeling loads better - spirited again! Complicated as it was, it had forced my thoughts to focus only on the matter in hand, and there was no place there for anything else - amazing.

Vivid yellow flowers offset against black seedpods, (which appear grey, because they are covered with downy white fur), vicious spikes when you get too close and a sweet coconut fragrance...

..from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Colour from the season - Sea Pink pink

Sea Pinks - also known as Thrift or Armeria Maritima are part of the the sensory palette making up the rugged cliff paths here in North Devon. Delicate, slightly bleached out colours from June's radiant sunshine and salty air, yet tough enough to withstand the shock of the most bitter coastal storms ~ exquisite..!

Wishing you a colourful weekend!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Colour from the Season - Stinging Nettle Green

Four weeks ago I began a course in Mindfulness. One thing we've been encouraged to do is study everything more intensely - expanding what is often a very ordinary experience into something extraordinary. This sense, the visual, is easy for me, not only is this something I do without effort all the time, but something I've spent much of my life striving to be good at.  This is described perfectly by John Hopper when coincidently last week he wrote about Mindfulness, Creativity and Observation on 'The Textile Blog' (here).

I was reminded how beneficial it is to draw and how not drawing these past few months has been negatively affecting me, as though some part of me were missing - like losing touch with an old friend.

The (vicious) dewy hairs of these Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) in the early morning were the palest misty purple, once picked they dramatically wilted and I thought that was the end of them. They revived however, now more an angry shade of red and my hands are still smarting...

"Tender handed stroke a nettle,
And it stings you for your pains:
Grasp it like a man of mettle,
And it soft as silk remains"

Aaron Hill, 1753 (British dramatist and poet)

(Try this if you like but don't say I didn't warn you!)

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.