Friday, May 09, 2008
In the garden
The blog has been very quiet of late but it's been deliberate this time as I have found blogging and keeping up with other blogs too time consuming recently. I noticed about three other bloggers I normally tune in to have also taken time out and it seems something is in the air for artists at the moment!
I normally keep a visual record on the blog of what's been growing in the garden and this year, as we have so many unusual tulips and they are nearly finished, I thought I'd better blog about them before it's too late.
My fave this year is probably the one at the top (incredible design!) but I've always loved the red and green parrot tulips and this year for the first time, I have my very own!
I read that they have developed this shape due to a virus and ours seem to be even more exaggerated than usual!
This yellow tulip is like a soup bowl, it's so big!
The most delicate of frills and colouring.
Try as I might I will never understand why artists are not supposed to draw details, especially when I look at flowers like these. Increasingly, I can't understand why there are any rules in art at all (for every rule there is an exception!) and so many prejudices amongst artists themselves. It makes less and less sense.
It gets me every so often and I have to take a break from it, or at least cut down a lot on how much I'm reading. (I'm still checking my regular blogs but just not commenting as much!) I've done very little drawing but I was sitting in the garden a couple of evenings ago - Mark was away and Paul is in Morocco so the house has been quiet -admiring the flowers and decided to draw this, the plastic monstrosity, as I call it, left behind by the previous owners. It's a swinging chair that should have cushions and a canopy but this is how it normally looks. We thought about throwing it out but actually it's fun to sit out there, cup of tea on the little tray, swinging gently (or side to side, which makes me dizzy!), and musing about when it's going to fall apart! (And unbeknownst to me, Mark's plane was flying round and round in a holding pattern in the skies above me as I drew it!) So two years on it's still with us. I've been meaning to draw it for ages and this week was perfect with the lovely warm evenings.
Initially it was just a pencil drawing and that's the reason why the chair looks so grey and dirty, but I decided to add colour and see how it went. It's all very rough and blotchy and eventually I gave up trying for anything better - I think it may be the paper is not quite right for the effect I'm looking for. Either that or it's because, with sketching, I'm working fast and putting colours down too thickly instead of building them up. I should also point out that this is the ugliest view of the garden, it's really not that bad! I've left out a lot of details like the potted plants and the garden light just behind the chair. The large expanse of fence is very dominant but actually the other side of the garden is where the patio and beds are and is much prettier. I realised when I was drawing this that the garden has changed completely since we moved in but this view uniquely shows almost nothing of our influence. The pool cover, chair, plant and tree in the foreground were all here when we moved in. I like the tree (on the right) and I'll probably try to do a better drawing of that, but the little plant, a small conifer is probably the only plant left in the garden that I don't like. There very little left to do now but I would still like some sweet peas. Now I've got the passionflowers and the parrot tulips, they (and the snakeshead fritillaria) are the only thing left on my garden wish list!