Sunday, 18 August 2013

August, a month crammed full

These are my current  thoughts, paintings and imaginings,  I hope you will have time to stay awhile, maybe leave a comment too.  I hope you enjoy my watercolour paintings this month.

August is turning out to be a good month for foraging in the woods.

We have just picked the first of the blackberries for the freezer, to make our traditional blackberry and apple crumbles in the Winter months.  Also elderberries are on the way, ripening nicely to make syrup which is good for sore throats and delicious in gin.

I found beautiful seed heads, I think these ones look best when they are dried and rigid later in the year, covered in frost and cobwebs on a chilly morning, they are a delight to rediscover.

Chestnuts and conkers...

It's not often we find anything in the chestnut cases as the squirrels get there first. 

 This is my favourite time of the year, Autumn seems to be coming in early.  I love the colours in the woods and the berries and nuts make great painting subjects, I like painting conkers, the only disappointing thing about them is they don't stay shiny for ever - we put them in corners of the house as they appear to deter spiders.  I say appear as there is always a biggie smirking directly above my head in an inaccessible spot in the conservatory no matter if I vacuum her away, her sister will then take residence and they are very untidy creatures dropping their food parcels eveywhere as they have been too greedy, so I am constantly removing little fossilised insects wrapped in spidery clingfilm.

  Nature is clever, the birds understand and adapt to our changing weather pattern in the UK better than us.   We have had such a late, short Spring that birds nested much later than usual.   My brother, who started his own one man gardening business this year, has found robins nests with their pretty blue eggs as late as July which I don't think I have ever heard of in the UK, does it mean that our seasons are shifting gradually?

'The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall
 and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off'.
Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden
I am reading this book free on Kindle.

I suppose snails are not the prettiest of subjects for painting, but sometimes their shells can be interesting so one slimy ugly creature managed to get his portrait painted.

Another thing that is not so pretty is that having just kicked off a bug, I now have a bug so have had to slow down and drop some of that to do list.  The decorating plans are on hold, too ambitious - maybe it would be boring to have a perfect house. 

 I am getting to like unfinished and untidy, it means there's always something to look forward to doing.  The blogs  I like the best are the ones where everything's a bit of a muddle and the author is happy with her half finished granny squares or bunting, because she's in the moment, still enjoying the creative process.

This is the robin  re-visited,  he didn't like being a he changed his coat and became this dark beady eyed bird and he feels more like himself now.  There must be a moral in there somewhere, a sort of modern day Aesopps Fable? 

That's all of my ramblings for now, back soon, but not too soon.
p.s. update - on UK tv news tonight was an article on the Mayfield lavender field at Sutton, near Croydon, not a million miles from Touchwood... we are visiting again later this week. They showed the beautiful lavender and the bees intoxicated with nectar! wonderful.


  1. Beautiful paintings. Autumn is my favourite time of year too.
    I just love the robin. It is such a cute bird, but what a fighter !!
    I hope you will be feeling better soon !!
    Hugs from The Netherlands.

  2. Sorry to hear about the shingles, my mum's just getting over them. I just wanted to say thank you for the lovely comment you left on my last post. It really means a lot to me. I think all of us 'artists' doubt our abilities and need the bolstering compliments of strangers (bloggy friends)as opposed to compliments from those who are close to us. I was recently told by someone who worked in a gallery that one of my larger works, if sold in their gallery would have a price tag on nearing a thousand pounds. I've never sold anything for anywhere near that price but just that comment from someone 'in the know' was as good as having them hand me the cash! lol. I'm in my forties now and it's only this year that I've had the nerve to actually call myself 'an artist' out loud when asked what I do!
    So from one artist to another, don't envy my talent, you have plenty of your own! Your work is beautiful and reminds me of the Edwardian Lady diaries, which I love. My favourite is the conker, how you make it look shiny in water colours is beyond me.
    Keep up the good work,
    love Fi x

  3. ~ Dear Betty, although i am hanging on tightly to summer and not letting her go to easily, I do welcome the beauty in autumn and all her glory, which I can see taking shape now....Your pictures are just wonderful!I take my big jolly summer straw-sun hat off to peeps like your self who capture all the magic in wild life that is all around us! ( wish I could draw) ****~ Thank you for sharing with us all....hugs and summer kisses *** Maria x

  4. I love the paintings! Since it has been such an unpredictable summer with all the crazy weather and garden disappointments fall will be extra welcome this year! I have always held autumn as my favorite season!
    Great minds think alike :D
    Beth P

  5. Oh my, your paintings are beautiful! I love that you call chestnuts by the name conkers, I had forgotten that from the time I went to school near Leeds. Thank you for making that memory resurface. I just became your newest follower. My trailer (caravan) has the same name as you. I named her after my mom.
    Beach hugs from Nova Scotia,

  6. I see that you many stories from the woods this time :) Very beautiful paintings. I like blackberry the most. My parents garden had raspberries this year, I took pictures of them, you can see in my blog.
    Have wonderful Autumn time! Anna


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