Today I was treated to a lovely trip to Mottisfont House with some friends. We were going especially to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition which is on there at the moment. But arriving a bit early we wandered the gardens to see what else was happening at Mottisfont this weekend.
We found a special Land Art activity being set up for families. Based on the work of such artists as Andy Goldsworthy, we were encouraged to collect natural materials to make our own “art”. Our results were not spectacular but we had fun and it helped us see our beautiful surroundings with new eyes.
We did eventually enjoy the inspirational work of Kaffe Fassett inside the House but when I returned home I stepped into the garden feeling the urge to play with leaves and flowers! It was such colourful fun collecting and arranging stuff on our old wooden seat. Who needs paints, fabrics or embroidery?! 😊
What better excuse than the spring equinox to post pictures of beautiful flowers. A walk around the garden reveals blossoms at every turn.
Shades of yellow daffodils and primroses, and hyacinths large and small.
Luscious pinks of camellias and hellebores, and the multi flowering stems of heathers and pieris.
The weather forecaster describes it as unsettled. This morning heavy rain woke me at 5.30 a.m. pounding against the roof and windows. And then by the time I got up to make tea the sun was shining. Now it’s raining again…
Yesterday I made brief foray round the garden while the sun was shining and uncovered some rhubarb. Protected by an old composting bin and “forced” to grow in the dark, the resulting colours are quite shocking! As the rain returned I was able to conjure up a bit of the Mediterranean by squeezing oranges to mix with the rhubarb. With the addition of a good deal of sugar, the resulting sweet pink jam/sauce tasted good on ice cream and yoghurt.
The art journaling course this week had an “on location” assignment – create a page with three elements which captures the feeling of being in your own home. Not easy! Just following where ideas took me I produced a page. It took a bit of collaging to arrange, and size and scale weren’t straightforward, but a kind of linking narrative emerged.
Life at home at this time of year can still feel a bit restricted and constrained, but it certainly has bright moments if I stop to notice them.
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.