Nasturtiums – the designer flower and the joys of Redbubble

These nasturtiums were growing in my herb garden last summer. They are “designer flowers” I always think, their shape is so strong and graphic, the leaves and tendril-like stalks as well as the flowers. Their colours are so gorgeous. They were often used in art nouveau designs.
I am drawn to them and embark on a painting but then remember that they are quite difficult flowers to capture! But I can’t resist the way their pale green stalks and leaves overlap and run in and out of each other making lovely crevices of darkness to contrast with the oranges and yellows.

I love these flowers with their flowing shapes and tendrils and flat disc like leaves and the oranges and yellows against the bluey green of the foliage. Not totally easy with my painting but there is enough about it that is pleasing for me to be able to allow it to be aired.

I’ve had a down time painting wise…not been inspired. But these set me off and while painting them, I had a feeling of having gone up a level in my understanding of the how the colours and tones work. It is amazing how you go on and on and on learning, absorbing information in your every day life, assimilating new ideas that you come up against if you’re obsessed as I am with looking at images and art. Redbubble plays a huge part here…it is images a go go and so many different media and styles to look at. Also I have dialogues with the artists by email, some of whom are searching and searching and asking and asking and open to all sorts of creative stimuli.

For instance Barbara, who is a stunningly talented artist/designer already, but who is intent on trying out new things and wants to master traditional watercolour. We are swapping ideas and having great fun. It goes without saying that this is an International phenomenon, and art communication is taking place worldwide, instantaneously. To someone of my age, this is amazing. Given that we didn’t get our first land line until I was a teenager and of course mobiles were unheard of and the internet wasn’t even a twinkle in Bill Gates’s eye.

But I digress!

There is an iris drawing waiting for me in the studio…yes, I’m back there again with the irises!

Hollyhock and Letterbox

This is part of a step by step demonstration that appears in my book. Flowers in the Landscape (Search Press) I made this painting while the editor and photographer looked on taking notes and photographing each stage. That was fun, if a little scary!

I concocted the composition from some photos I had taken in Barbizon, a village South of Paris in France while on a touring holiday in the region. The important factor was the morning light which was coming obliquely from the left and casting interesting shadows over the flowers and structures.
Along with the light and cast shadows there was an added bit of human interest afforded by the box with its half posted letters.
I’ve put the photos here for you to see how you can combine different elements into one painting.


I thought I would post something to cheer us up. I am still waiting for the weather to brighten up and for the garden to deliver us some little hints of Spring.

Here are some daffodils which I painted last year at Patchings Art Festival. I like these as I actually succeeded in leaving them quite loosely painted and did not over finish as I sometimes do.
Also in this post I am asking you to have a look at a project which is being undertaken by a friend, Olivia, inspired by the Haiti disaster and expressing her response to it.
Her art is heart stopping I think! Please donate if you can and help make sure that the project can proceed. I have. Many of her paintings are available to see on her website. The link to her website is in this advert. Click on the link…it will not commit you to anything and you will see some wondrous art that may change your view of things forever.

Please LIKE treestory on the treestory facebook page!

TreeStory needs to get it’s “Likes” up to 500 by the end of January! Why? Because this is how our tree movement will start! You are in the center of our snowball . . . can you help it to grow by giving it a little push? Please encourage your friends to visit this page and “Like” us. It’s a very easy way to help us help the trees!!

Please if you are on Face book, go on the treestory page and click on LIKE, give it the thumbs up, please! This is the page for the documentary film Treestory which is soon to be made but needs funding desperately.

Please click on this link and LIKE. Thank you! It’s a good cause! See the post below to read more about the film and see a lovely preview.