Echinacea in Oils, emerging!

We grew Echinacea from seed in the greenhouse this year. It has been fantastic. I love those slightly droopy whispy petals.

I have started to paint them in Oils. When I’ve a quiet moment I visit my garden Studio and there on my easel I see the Echinacea painting emerging, little by little. I am slow, I like to dream, sip tea and ponder colour and feeling of this eccentric flower. As I stand at my easel paintbrush poised I often get lost in clouds floating past or the light changing. I hear pigeons dancing on the roof and watch a curious robin staring at me from a brand of the old apple tree.

I hope to have this one ready for a charity exhibition. Back to work!

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Secret walk

A local walk, I love to think is my own.

How quiet is the forest.

Beside the brook, I hear cracking, popping hogweed and rustling grasses, looking like fairy tassles;

I see an illumination : floating, sparkling golden seed dust filtered between stately trees.

Scratching dry earth, worn by hot sun, crevices where an underworld unfolds, I wonder about stories of days old. How quiet is the forest.

Returning to the waterside I stretch my fingers into the shallow stream following fallen ochre leaves and sunbeams.

How quiet is the forest.

Garden views

My cottage garden is blooming this month. It is definitely a year for poppies and roses, they are looking spectacular! Earlier on oriental red poppies were wonderful, now we have self seeded poppies everywhere. I am so excited that dahlias have at last appeared from the dry soil, I hope to show you a spectacular display later on. Here in this part of rural Bedfordshire our garden is often what I call ‘wind bound’ which some plants hate, so we are always moving plants to more sheltered sites, which is challenging! It is a beautiful summer. You can see my Studio in the distance where I have been so inspired this year to create watercolour paintings of flowers from my garden. Bees are a theme and very close to my heart.

Playing with colour and design

I love the Cynara structural plant, looming like a giant thistle. I can see so many shapes and textures.

Back in the Studio, I began playing with oil pastels, water and made marks with sticks and sponges. Sometimes it can be a simple moment in the garden which gives inspiration. I’m glad it’s cooler now so that I can pop in and out of the Studio, however there’s never enough time!

Pop over to my other Lavendermoon site for more pictures and poetry.

Painting in the style of Kandinsky

Yesterday I attended a painting workshop. We used acrylics and designed our Painting and styled our palette on the Artist Kandinsky’s works. I was totally out of my comfort zone using bright colours however Kandinsky’s interest in spiritual and evoking mystery and atmosphere inspired me to paint this canvas, untitled at the moment!

Lingering sultry spring day

Lingering on a sultry spring day,

Mesmerized by the shimmering gentle woodland light;

Silky Buttercups bob about grinning!

Apple blossom petals float like magical letters from fairies of wisdom onto the lush green floor;

Dandelion seeds flutter through tree nymph doors, under Hawthorn blossom garlands cascading into a hushed darkness

Where a tiny sprinkling of piercing blue periwinkles blink faraway in the memory of dew.

Rainy baking afternoons.

A rainy spring afternoon is ideal for searching through your store cupboards for baking ingredients. I found freeze dried Raspberries and ground almonds and decided to concoct a recipe for teatime. I’ve now had a couple of small slices; the cake is moist, tasty and light.

Raspberry loaf cake

A big thank you to Sue Dreamwalker for inspiring me to get baking again. She sent me her delicious Rhubarb crumble recipe which has I inspired me to make a successful gluten and dairy free crumble topping.😘

2 cups self raising gluten free flour

1/2 cup of ground almonds (optional)

1tsp gf baking powder

1/2 tsp Xanthan gum

1 1/4 cup of sugar or alternative such as coconut sugar

1/2 cup of dairy free spread

1 egg

1 tsp Vanilla essence

1 cup of almond milk

1 1/2 cups of fresh or freeze dried(reconstituted in hot water)

170°C/ 350F

Sift dry ingredients except sugar into a large bowl.

Cream spread with sugar, add egg, milk and vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour mix.

Fold in gently the raspberries.

Spoon into a lined and greased loaf tin

Cook for 40 mins but check after 35. Use a metal skewer to check the cake is cooked through. The skewer should come out clean if it is ready.

Cool completely before lifting out of the tin.

Enjoy with a cup of Earl Grey or Afternoon Tea blend.

Paintbrush spring

In the Studio I have been snatching sleepy. Sunday afternoons to play with watercolours, dreaming of bluebell woods and spring flowers. These paintings are work in progress, hopefully I’ll finish them soon.

How have you been spending sleepy Sundays?

Fox in a wintry wood.

 This linocut print was the result of a workshop I did last weekend. Sometimes it is good to work alongside other artists. It was inspired by a lovely experience in Cople wood, or I like to call it the magic, or fairy wood. The little wood does have a magical atmosphere. One day we were out walking when  we saw this young fox peering at us. It was a special moment I always wanted to recreate the image in my head. I hope you enjoy it. I may make a smaller version for cards.