Wednesday, 16 July 2014

a walk round the corner - May, June, July

We're now on the final lap of the countryside diary I started to keep in August 2013.  When I last posted in this series in April, we were just seeing the first signs of Spring, so by May things had moved on quite a bit. In the first field what I had originally assumed to be grass was becoming a proper crop:

the first field - May
© Teresa Newham
And on the oak at the edge of the field, the first leaves were unfurling!

the old oak - May
© Teresa Newham
In the second field, and along Mud Lane, things were looking green:

the second field - May
© Teresa Newham
And the hedgerows were full of cow parsley.  It was everywhere!

cow parsley - May
© Teresa Newham
By June, the crop in the first field was springing up:

the first field - June
© Teresa Newham
The old oak was fully in leaf:

the old oak - June
© Teresa Newham
Ferns were now growing at the entrance to the second field:

the second field - June
© Teresa Newham
And wild honeysuckle was beginning to bloom in the hedges:

honeysuckle - June
© Teresa Newham
July, and the wheat in the first field now has ears.  It's definitely Summer and the sun is out!

the first field - July
© Teresa Newham
The cow parsley in the hedges under the old oak is far taller than I am:

the old oak - July
© Teresa Newham
Wheat is also in evidence in the second field.

the second field - July
© Teresa Newham
The hedgerows are full of this pink flower.  It looks a bit like phlox but I think it's called rosebay willowherb!

rosebay willowherb? - July
© Teresa Newham
Well, that brings the year full circle.  We'll definitely continue our walks - I'm keen to see how that wheat ripens up - so watch out for an update here from time to time!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A Nice Dilemma

A nice dilemma we have here
That calls for all our wit, for all our wit . . . 
- Gilbert & Sullivan, Trial by Jury

Sometimes it's good to take your watercolours and just experiment - particularly when you haven't used them for some time and need to loosen up.  Last week I decided to re-interpret the two Venice paintings I made back in March, just going with the flow to see what happened.  On two consecutive days, with Vivaldi's Gloria in the CD player (is there a more Venetian composer?) and the same Venetian glass colour palette as previously, I mixed up some thin washes.

the most exciting colours always end up in the brush water!
© Teresa Newham

I applied these to a block of Hahnemühle Andalucia paper with a wide brush . . .

Venice III initial washes
© Teresa Newham
. . .  waited for them to dry and added stronger colours, holding the block upright now and again so they ran down the paper.

Venice IV after the second set of washes
© Teresa Newham

Finally I added a gondolier, a misty bridge in the distance, and some shadows at the top and outer edges:

Venice III & IV 
original watercolours © Teresa Newham

So I now have four paintings of Venice - two sets of two each!  I'd like to exhibit a couple of them at Open Studios in September, but my dilemma is - which ones?