Thursday 25 March 2021

Wanderlust 2021 - Weeks nine to twelve - Serendipity

Here are the pages I made for weeks nine to twelve of the Wanderlust mixed media art journaling course.  'Serendipity' was the theme - things coming together just at the right time.  It was also about not over-thinking and just going with the flow.  The focus of the page above was a new flower stencil which had just arrived.
Week ten was very enjoyable but went through a few ugly stages before it was finished.  Enjoying the process could be a theme of this whole course and the words were going round in my head as this page came together, so they needed to be my focus. 
The background for week eleven was made using layers of gesso and paint and then swirling them together with the end of a paintbrush. (I may have got a bit carried away with this technique!)
We made pockets and journal cards and were asked to write down things that had come together for us. My journal cards included things I enjoy - birdsong, chocolate, the scent of winter flowering honeysuckle, the feel of silk and velvet etc. and my art and craft journey - things had come together to enable me to undertake a Foundation year course in Art and Design - definitely one of the best things I have ever done.  
Week twelve was about creating pieces which could then be used in art work - collage focal points, bleeding tissue paper sheets etc.  This page has two collage focal points and the colour scheme was dictated by one of the papers I used on the collage piece.  
The theme for the next four weeks is Silhouettes.
Over the weeks, the journal I used (which is in my photos above), although lovely, is breaking at the spine binding because each page has doubled in thickness (at least) with the addition of all the layers.  While it is a great journal, it is not quite up to this job.  So, I have ordered a load of watercolour card and am going to make a simple journal with binder rings. I like the size of the double spread pages above, so will stick with that.  The new journal will also have the benefit of being able to take the pages out as I am working on them. It's a shame that the whole course won't be together in one journal, but I think the new journal will be better for all the mixed media materials which will be thrown at it!

Thursday 18 March 2021

More hellebores and other plants

My hellebores in the border I laughingly call the 'woodland' border (north facing and relatively shady at the back) are finally catching up with those in pots.  Above is Pink speckled which has made the best clump and which looks the happiest. 
I think this one is Pink Picotee.  
This could be White Speckled?  I should have a white one and a red one as well, but I seem to just have leaves from them this year.  I have bough a white one for a pot though, so that may flower next year, all being well.
Cardamine Quinquefolia is flowering away nicely.
As is Camellia St Ewe, with its bold colour contrasts.
I planted these muscari azureum last autumn and I like their delicate baby blue flowers.
An unnamed camellia  is also flowering, with a pale pastel pink flower.  I have a double flowered camellia too, but that isn't in flower yet.  The garden seems to be changing daily at the moment and these plants are bringing me a lot of joy. 

Monday 15 March 2021

New Books

I was lucky to get some money for my birthday last month, so I bought two books which have been on my wishlist for ages.  I am a huge fan of the Pre-Raphaelites (as anyone who reads my blog/knows me in person will know) and Jan Marsh is an expert on the subject, with many books to her credit.   I do wish that the women involved in the Pre-Raphaelites movement had left us more letters and diaries though, as it is them, whether muses or artists themselves, that I am most interested in.  
As I get older, I find I am more drawn to the pencil /chalk drawings  or the preliminary sketches, rather than the final completed works, even though they are usually full of luscious colour. I remember visiting the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition in London in 1984 (and will forever be grateful to my Mum for going with me and enabling me to see it) and my abiding memory was the colour everywhere.  
I particularly like Rossetti's chalk drawings.   I do have quite a lot of books on the Pre-Raphaelites already, but there is room for one more...
The other one is about Jane Austen.  I enjoyed Lucy Worsley's TV programme about the places Jane Austen had lived and the effect these may have had on her writing (available on iplayer for 14 days here), so this book was added to my wish list too.  I really enjoy re-reading the novels as I find something different every time I read them. She was a very subtle writer and created many fascinating characters.  My favourite novel is Persuasion, closely followed by Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park (although my views of the seemingly weak and wimpy Fanny Price have changed through re-reading).  If you were to ask my favourite hero and heroine, I would say Mr Knightly from Emma and Anne Elliot from Persuasion (although I also like Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility).  (I am not a Mr Darcy fan - controversial, I know).  

I am really looking forward to sitting and enjoying both of these books. 

Sunday 7 March 2021

Hello Hellebores (and other lovely things)

It is Hellebore flowering time again and I always enjoy seeing the flowers unfurl.  Above is Hello Ruby.
This was a new purchase from 'The Range' and is 'Hello White Pearl' .  I am assuming they are called the 'Hello' series because their flowers are held upright.  It does make taking photos of them easier.
Here's Ruby again, with the light shining on her petals.  She will be staying in a pot for now.
Here's White Pearl again.  It will also be in a pot.
Camellia Yoimachi has finally decide to flower with more than one bud, so I am enjoying the white with a touch of pink flowers.
The camassias are romping away now.  I think I should have separated and potted them on last autumn, to give them more space, but I left it too late.  
Finally, cardamine quinquefolia spreading gently and not invasively, where it seems to be happy.  It is a very pretty but unassuming plant.

My other hellebores are just starting to flower - no doubt there will be photos...