The last few weeks in the garden have been literally fruit full. We had a lovely crop of dark red morello cherries, not really dessert eating cherries but I made them into a rich flavoured sweet sauce. I wish it had set a bit more, but it tastes great on ice cream, or even on toast.
Then it was on to the plums, juicy and sweet, and good to eat straight from the tree. I dried a lot, and froze plenty too, so they will last us for weeks to come.
Today it was redcurrants, no “pick one eat one” rewards here, they are sour and seedy. But they look so beautiful hanging like red jewels in strings from the branches. And they have a translucence and a glow in the redness.
And then I have had another full dose of red on the eyes from another source. At last my Kaffe Fassett quilt is finished. Started in April at a workshop with the great man himself, it has been quite a task. Square by square it has gone together, then layered and quilted. Now I am just completing the binding.Certainly a feast of red!
Last week I had a treat. A chance to meet a hero of mine, and a day to work under his artistic guidance. My sister booked us on a workshop with colour guru and textile artist Kaffe Fassett, whose work has inspired me for many years.
Arriving at the venue, Lady Sew and Sew in Henley, we were greeted by rows and rows of fabric, an overwhelming rainbow of colour. Kaffe and Brandon, his partner, set us to work, but encouraged us to play, to experiment and see what happened when colours met each other. We were following Kaffe’s “Seed Packet” design from his book Bold Blooms, and it was exciting to see what grew in front of us.
After a day of cutting and placing, everyone’s designs were as individual as their creators. Kaffe commented and made suggestions, and signed books before we packed up our mess and left, exhausted but on a high!
All that has to be done now is to finish it! I have been making progress, but there’s a long way to go yet. Watch this space…
Today dawned grey and misty. We donned old clothes and, with bags and forks, joined others from the Hardy Plant Society at a local stables. As the sun began to break through the clouds a crowd of us dug into a black mountain and worked to shovel sweet well rotted horse manure into bags. I have to confess my main role was holding the bags open, but it felt as though we were digging for treasure, and indeed the contents of those bags is “worth its weight in gold” for our vegetable garden.
By the time we were home the sun was warming the summer house, and for the first time this year I sat outside to eat my lunch. Others too were enjoying warmth and food – a carpet of crocuses, opening their faces to the sun, was hosting dozens of bees to a banquet of nectar.
Needing an excuse to sit in the sun, I decided to do some sketches for an online Art Journaling course I am doing with Jane Lafazio. Not much colour in the garden pots yet, but I had fun, made a Journal page and replenished my depleted store of Vitamin D at the same time.
If I’m honest I have to admit I sliced open this watermelon because I thought it might be good to draw, not because I particularly like water melon. Won as a part of a fruit basket raffle prize, it is not a fruit I would normally buy to eat.
I was not disappointed with the bright pink flesh hidden inside the green skin, but I didn’t find it easy to capture the shape and colour, and the juiciness of the fruit. In fact after I had finished I realised that the slice was sitting in a little puddle of its own juice, and I had missed that altogether on my picture.
I have spent a month looking and drawing what (I thought) I could see in front of me. It has been an interesting challenge and changed the way I look at things. I have loved exploring the line and shape of my surroundings, and watercolour is such a quick and delicate way to capture shades and tones.
But when I took a spoon to the melon I discovered it was much juicier and sweeter than I had expected and distinctly fragrant! There’s more to life than what we can see…
More senses (and artistic mediums/media) needed.