Friday, August 31, 2007
A small tribute to Diana, drawn a month after she died. I'm one of those the media criticises for 'still' remembering her. They'll be asking why she is still remembered on the news, over and over, every hour, and no doubt in all the newspapers too! She would be remembered quietly if only they would give it a rest!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
A little self indulgence to celebrate my blog's second birthday. I was getting uninspired by the watercolours so I picked up my pencils again and choose a subject I knew I would enjoy. For some reason I think this drawing doesn't look so good scanned but anyway, it was good fun to do! B and 2B pencil on Strathmore Bristol paper.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Although we walked half way up Saleve, the mountain to the south overlooking Geneva, last year, we hadn't yet taken the cable car up to the top. This shot was taken from an area that the hang-gliders take off from - and if I wasn't scared of heights, I'd love to try it! We could actually see our house really clearly, just to the right of the city, above the trees in the foreground. The Jura mountains (under the clouds) cradle Geneva on the north side. We had lunch at a restaurant perched at the edge of the mountain, again with spectacular views. After we took the cable car back down, we drove up again in the car and followed a very twisty road back down through some lovely little villages.
Another trip we should have done by now was to cross Lake Geneva by boat. An all day travel card covers the boats too so Mark and I only had to flash our travel passes! That's Saleve in the background.
We had a stroll around the old town where I saw this magnificent knocker on the door to a lawyers office! It's much larger than it looks in this photo.
Even the door handle was ornate and I'm sure that key must be enormous - as must be the fees!
Friday, August 24, 2007
How could any tourist resist? (Info on the Cow Parade here) The blog has been very quiet as we had visitors this week. Somehow, unbelievably, they managed to fight the temptation to take this home as a souvenir of Geneva! Could also have been something to do with that hefty price tag!
The great thing about showing visitors around is that you end up in places you don't normally visit and we found lots of new chocolate shops! The window displays tend to be seasonal - the 'chestnuts' are out again - so this was quite unusual.
We didn't buy any of these but we did buy some chocolate bars that looked fairly innocent in their plain wrappers but tasted amazing. I have a feeling they will be getting a lot more of my custom very soon!
Annabel tagged me to write 7 random gardening facts about myself. Well, I wouldn't call myself a gardener by any stretch of the imagination but I found it interesting to ponder. Mark is the gardener in our house but I'm the one who loves weeding so we work pretty well as a team! We have different ideas about gardening but since he does the hard work I let him make the gardening decisions. I have, though, finally persuaded him to get a passion flower and, never one to do anything by halves, he planted a total of five different varieties, not including the one we have in a pot! The one above is not ours unfortunately, I just spotted it while out walking this week!
This one is basking in the back garden
and this delicate looking pink one is at the front. We found a German site online selling them and choose them according to how hardy they were. The more unusual ones tended not to be very hardy so we were limited in what we could have especially as the winters can be very cold here.
So, passion flowers are no longer on my list of things I've been wishing for in the garden but here are 7 more;
1. A monkey puzzle tree (above).
2. Old, worn steps overgrown with grass.
3. Tulips (I can't believe the previous owners planted no bulbs!)
4. Sweet peas - one of my favourite flower fragrances.
5. Snakeshead fritillery - I've never seen these for sale. They seem to me to belong to the faerie world!
6. Chickens! I used to love collecting the eggs whenever I visited my aunt and uncle on their farm. I didn't even mind all the spiders and cobwebs I had to pass to get to them. Come to think of it, it must have been a very large coop or maybe a old out house because I had to go through another room to get to the chickens. It's hard to be miserable when you're looking at chickens!
7. Lastly, a random fact - one of my first memories is noticing the structure of lupins and how each shape fitted perfectly together and how it retained that perfect structure as it tapered to a point.
I see that not everyone who has been tagged for this meme has joined in, so I think I will be kind and not pass it on - it was surprisingly difficult!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
A few things I've been meaning to post. This is the colour version of a sketch I did a while ago. I felt at the time both the drawings lacked colour but now I've added it, it's not as I imagined - in time I'm hoping to make my watercolours look fresher, less controlled than this. I coloured it partly from memory (those leaves had long since died) and partly from a cutting so the result is not too good - I realised too late I had painted light coming from different directions!
Some Sunday sketches. This Honeysuckle is done in watercolour pencils on cartridge paper. I was going to spritz it with water to see what happened but changed my mind, thought it best to leave well enough alone!
I'd never tried this before, adding watercolour to a pencil sketch on light cartridge paper, but it was interesting. The colours look quite dull, almost like an old Victorian illustration, and I was surprised that the paper didn't buckle. I'm in two minds about how it turned out but it was enjoyable to do.
All were drawn outdoors apart from the top drawing and as it was a hot day I found it quite difficult with the heat and the glare on the paper, even though I was sitting in the shade. Although I take lots of photos of plants, there is no substitute for painting from life. That too can be challenging when the petals are either opening or closing for the day as these Whirligigs were!
Line drawings of the different Passiflora leaves.
Finally a doodle in watercolour using the Masquepen. I don't normally post doodles but they seem to be going better than my other efforts at the moment!