St Abb's National Reserve

St Abb's National Reserve
View from my office

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

I feel I'm finding a style that is particular to the garden paintings and drawings; I like the kitchy-50's edge that keeps appearing in some of my larger paintings (will post soon). I feel it deals with the overwhelming amount of information there is, amongst the flowers and shrubbery.

Areas I have agonised over; 'Shall I include that? Must I be slavishly realistic?

Natasha has erected a Cath Kidson -ooh, I was going to call it a tent, there- tent, it is not- anyway, such a magnificent display of roses, red and pink, on a blue background have settled my questions for me!

I remember, as a child, I stayed at my maternal grandmothers house during the (then, achingly long) summer break. I'd be indulged outrageously for three or four days and have the run of a lovely house in a local market town; each room decorated tastefully, if of a time.

Downstairs, the front room was most certainly Victorian; Gran had an eye for furniture- dark furniture, and rich fabrics; (one steered one's attention from the plastic sewn on the edges of rugs, and the covers to hide the wear-and-tear), upstairs, though , some of the bedrooms had been furnished with sinks, to accommodate fee-paying guests, on a bed and breakfast basis ( young doctors, mostly- my gran kept up with families for years afterwards) ANYWAY the pictures in these rooms were fascinating- awful, I remember no one wanted them, when it came to finally clearing out her home. The whole picture, frame, backing, was one piece of cardboard, folded and cut and depicted scenes of open squares thronging with people, houses with red geraniumes, or cosmos-like flowers dashed over painterly backgrounds. I visited each of these pictures in turn again and again, on rainy afternoons, or pausing on an errand ('Your legs are younger than mine').

Such little, incidental pictures are coming back to me- not the whole image, you understand, but the brushstrokes, the colours, the way some forms are picked out, some discarded and dealt with using whimsical colours and I shall indulge my urge for whimsy, for fun, and a trowel-load of sentimentality and leave the botanical drawings to the botanists!

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