Monday, 26 January 2015

January Blues

No chance of the January blues when these little beauties are there to greet me every morning! I love hyacinths but they don't like the heat and quickly bolt when kept indoors. I've discovered that the secret to keeping them strong, healthy and deliciously fragrant is a very cool, North-facing windowsill. 

Their colour is rather illusive; is it blue or purple? It's certainly off-set by the vibrant green leaves. The multiple flower heads on each stem lend themselves to a repeat process so I set about making potato prints. Using fabric paints, I mixed a deep turquoise blue with rich purple and a hint of sparkly pink for warmth.  Once I'd printed the flowers, I added some highlights of green/gold.  I printed onto thick hand-made paper. Now I can keep them all year round. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Winter Magic

In amongst the bare twigs of my winter garden, I notice that the witch hazel has performed it's magic.  Weird clusters of petals (I hardly dare call them flowers) appear on the branches and in the cold Northern light, they positively glow.

From a distance they look brown, but on closer inspection they have many hues: salmon pink, pale orange, rust and at their heart, a rich, deep, claret-red.  The petals of the flowers look crumpled and spidery and they cling to the branches in clusters, like loose pom-poms.

I use my pastel pencils to scratch out the twiggy outline of the bush and then choose a selection of colours over-layed to achieve the glow that I see in the flowers.  Like a good student, I have analysed the colour palette on the side.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Year in Colour

Inspired by a sumptuous book called Gypsy by Sibella Court and an equally lovely leather-bound journal that I received for Christmas, I have set myself the challenge of recording my year in colour.

Since it's both the Feast of Epiphany and the 12th day of Christmas it seems only fitting to start with gold: a candle burning bright, a smaller pot candle scented with orange and cinnamon, luscious clementines adorning my fruit bowl and a jar of precious spices from the Middle Eastern chef Ottolenghi.  These are my favourite things of the season: gifts given to me by friends and family, chosen with love and care.  Simple pleasures but worth their weight in gold.