Living palettes and a brush tree

Today, I’ve been torn between drawing my one Queen of the Night tulip before it goes over and recording plants from friends. I’ve done both – but for entirely different reasons. Settling in with the tulip, I see that nature has done its colour scheme thing. Sage flower buds gather round, … Read More

Three stripes and a gorilla

While waiting for a glacially-slow backup to run – my other life is as a designer – I seek entertainment in the garden and there it is, in tulip form. The parrot tulips show their stripes early. I had drawn smart green buds a week ago, presenting themselves like two-tone ties. Now, … Read More

Just watching

“I’ll do the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch while I draw outside for the blog”, I thought. “I’ll listen out for the birds, then I can glance up”. But with a human outside faffing around with art materials and a line full of washing flapping about, sensibly, they stuck largely to neighbouring … Read More

All the purples

After April’s rain in May, sudden sunshine – and everywhere, purple… There’s a lot more to the irises’ purple than a first glance suggests. Glossy buds like tightly-rolled satin are almost-black in the shade. Big, blowsy petals need layers, some blue and pink, to build up their brilliance on waste coated … Read More

On drawing in the rain

You’ll find me drawing a lot of tulips at this time of year and these, which I’m growing for the first time, do that wonderful thing in nature of no two flowers, or leaves, being of the same stripe, which, I always think, tells us something about beauty. But that’s … Read More

Garden colour, garden ink

I plant daffs in my garden and then the prevailing wind blows them over – so finally, after years of this happening, I’ve planted tiny narcissi instead. I never really thought about the subtleties of their shape until I started drawing them. They vary hugely, from centres like pleated skirts to … Read More

Movement, colour and sculpture – red tulips

I’ve appreciated tulips all the more in lockdown, seeing how they open and close during the day, the petals that aren’t really petals revealing colours I didn’t know were there and the fabulous sculptural curl and stripe of the flat leaves around the stems. Biro, watercolour, fineliner on waste paper.

Crocuses – little pops of purple

Back in the Autumn, I planted a job lot of bulbs, knowing that after a lockdown Winter, I’d need the good cheer of Spring flowers. Spending time with these little pops of purple, I found blends to blue inside and a surface sheen of deep pink. Biro, watercolour, fineliner on … Read More