6 months into 2019

The month of June arrived as hot and sultry as can be, became cooler again, then torrential rain, it’s all very unsettled strange weather indeed.

After a 4 year break from veggie gardening I decided to have one this year; being inspired by the no-dig method championed by Charles Dowding…. NO-DIG being the operative word I’ve created a  deep composted bed; however, I balked at making it as big as I’d intended because of the cost of buying in compost, so I now have my no-dig plot, then plots with varying grades of no-dig, the last one being simply a rectangle of ground which I’d covered in black plastic last autumn, and lightly dug over with some added home compost, it’ll be interesting to see which garden crops the best.

At the moment nº 1, the proper compost only no-dig with lettuces and tomato plants is neck and neck with nº 2 made up of home compost and ordinary soil growing brocoli and rocket.

Meanwhile I’ve been doing a some oil painting, see below. 

and a watercolour continuing on my charcoal drawings of Gypsy, I aim to do more of these. I tried doing one in acrylic to see if it works in colour and a different medium, but I prefer the monochrome images, they have more impact.

acrylic on canvas 50x70cm

Having treated myself to a new IPad, the free app Photoshop Fix  gives you the basics of photoshop, and offers a few more things to play with than the older PS express offers. I’ve been playing with the images of a couple of old paintings, here I was trying out all sorts of tweaks and twirls which resulted in this, it’s rather wild but I was just testing out the various digital gadgets it offers, useless as regards the result in this case, but fun.

 It’s such a useful tool enabling one to fiddle with a painting without spoiling it, always a problem for me, using this I can try deeper or paler colours, and/or leave the painting as it was, maybe even decide it needed no more work after all. There’s a lot of down-time ( in the sense of being seemingly unproductive, what some people may see as staring into space!) when planning a painting, figuring out fresh approaches, or playing with different media, so if this aids and speeds up the process it’s all well and good.

I’ve started adding to my stock of small paintings ready for the expo in September, a bowl of our luscious cherries from the tree by my studio, here’s the tree with red cherries gleaming like deep red rubies against the blue sky.

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12 thoughts on “6 months into 2019

  1. EVERYTHING is growing at your house! The garden is terrific. The paintings are super… I especially like the cherries. Lucious!! And, just yesterday I downloaded the new Photoshop tools for my iPad, too. I love the way you are using it to tweak, and experiment with your paintings. When I used to teach painting at the local arts council school (out of my depth!), I used to photograph my students’ paintings, load them into photoshop, then strip all the color away so they could see the underlying patterns and balances of black, white and gray underneath. It was the perfect tool for demonstrating the importance of value, separate from color, in the workings of a composition. Then, before iPhones and iPads, it was a several step process involving a digital camera and a laptop. As for me… I use it mainly to remove dust flecks from photographs of the shiny objects I make… and, of course to remove the odd blemish from my selfie faces!! 🤣
    xoxo A.

    • I’m sure you weren’t out of your depth it sounds as though you were really on the ball. It is amazing the technology nowadays, we forget so easily how long everything took, rolls of film with only 12 shots to take, waiting a week or 2 to get them developed, and now I have many many thousands of photos, more than 60,000 certainly and my heart sinks if I even consider sifting through them. And ha ha, OMG selfies, I had to take one, in fact I took dozens, for my new passport and confess I removed a couple of the many wrinkles!xL

  2. Oh, Liz! Lovely work! , including the veggie garden! Where do you find the time!!! Hope all is well and lovely and cool in your house. lots of love sue.

  3. Liz, I love these new paintings. The cherries are gorgeous. And your raised gardens — you have been very productive. Miss you!

    • Thanks Nancy, we can’t keep up with nature’s bounty! Am inventing new recipes for broccoli before the flea beetles demolish the plants! Miss you too, let me know when you’re free, maybe we could meet for a quick coffee? XL

    • It certainly works, we have horticulturalist friends who’ve also dropped the digging methods of yesteryear. Apparently the soil is best left in its layers and we shouldn’t be bringing lower minerals or whatever it is up to the surface, we should leave ‘em where they are and that suits me just fine!

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