Foraging for colours

Chilly in the garden, spotting rosehips I gather some in and go foraging for more warm Autumn colours for kitchen drawing. The rosehips, red from a distance, have a subtle blend of reds, brick and brown, layers of colour needed, especially on this waste paper, coated for print. At first … Read More

Fresh flowers in October

It’s October – but just as I expect to be drawing all things Autumnal, the garden gives me fresh flowers. The ivy is alive with bees and wasps. Interested mostly in the top flowers, they let me snip off a sprig to draw, its yellows needing the glow of a … Read More

Outside in

It’s been a blustery, rainy start here to Autumn – a time for nipping out and gathering in for drawing in the kitchen. A stem blown down by a squally shower, the red amaranth looks like a flower designed by an upholsterer. The flower head grows tufts and twirls, tiny seeds … Read More

Seed and structure

I’m a messy gardener, partly because I like to see what plants do. At this time of year, my reward is spectacular structures whose job is to offer seed, broadcast in the breeze or neatly packaged for creatures to take. The poppies stand mediaeval, all rust and twirl, windows long … Read More

Back garden banquet

Holly and Ivy in September… that seems wrong in a “Surely we’re not talking about Christmas yet?” sort of way – but this week’s dispatch is all about the wildlife. Just as the garden has that look that an old college friend describes as “having had one party too many”, it … Read More

Stitch and twirl

I spend a lot of time apologising to spiders at this time of year, their carefully-spun webs across the garden wrecked by one galumphing human. This week, I got to appreciate some of their handiwork without breaking it – two lavender seed heads stitched together, here, with a passing hoverfly. The … Read More

Summer’s curtain call

Technically, this is the start of Autumn. But Summer is doing its curtain call. The sound of bees led me to the verbena, an ordinary fly there too, zinging with iridescence in the sunshine. The cucamelon that I planted more on a whim than in expectation of actual fruit is … Read More

Garden at work

In holiday season, I find myself hard at work on things with Autumn deadlines. I’m in good company, the late August garden heavy with productivity… Snails’ work is not something I enjoy, in the normal run of things. But pausing to draw one that I’d spotted in the courgette patch, I … Read More

Something old, something new

Pink. There’s a lot of it in the garden at the moment and it’s always more complicated than it looks. Perfect, then, for trying out some portable materials before a live sketching assignment at a wedding. I’d actually gone out into the garden to draw forage, starting with the new … Read More

Glorious food

Edibles… I grow crops for the kitchen in pots, amongst the flowers and in improvised planters. Drawing them shows me that they’re every bit as beautiful as the plants I grow for decoration or for their scent. Pea green turns out to be pea greens, a palette of hues from … Read More

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