My yearly fortnight cycling in the beautiful forests in East Germany. It is very beautiful, with many wild plants, mushroom etc. etc. I picked some chanterelles (Pfifferlinge) under the oak trees but I daren’t eat them as I am not an experienced mushroompicker. The oak leaves have beautiful colours and holes that look like lace; only the veins are left in some part. I used earth pigment for the base, as well as orange, Prussian blue, neutral, green, walnutbrown, sepia and sienna natur. The chanterelles got Indian yellow, translucent orange, translucent yellow and a touch of walnut brown.
I walk every day along some beautiful huge rosa poppies. I thought to draw them, but by the time I picked them they were dry. But this adds a certain charm as well to these flowers. The colours are a challenge. For the seedpods I underpainted with a light yellow brill. and for the greenish/blue and other touches I started with a mix of cobalt green dark/neutral. I added walnutbrown, prussian blue and chroom dark green. I remained in these colors and for the dry leave added burnt sienna, sienna natur and olive green.
I pick straying objects on my travels; dry some flowers, leaves, or find the snail shells in my garden etc. For these I have different styles/shapes of boxes…it can be a mess. So, with the Worldcup football, there were biscuitboxes in the style of our country sold: flat, rectangular, orange, footballs……in fact the perfect size and shape for my artifacts. (and now I have more than a dozen packets of biscuits in my cellar…..). Each variety gets it’s own box: snails, stones, twigs, leaves etc etc.
In april and may I went to Indonesia for a month. I visited a rubber plantation, cacaotrees, the Toba lake with its beautiful Batak houses and ended up in Ubud(Bali), where I drew an orange flower; a climber. I try to keep the plants/flowers in good shape, but when I pressed them in my specially made travel herbarium, the plants moulded. Also I tried to keep the plants in airtight sacs, but that takes too much space in the suitcase. As I sketch in a small book, app.13×20 cm, I cannot use much water in my watercolors and I have to pay attention to the different stades of coloring: from light to darker colors and a full day of rest between two sessions, and of course the brushes. And I am making a small sketch book with experiments in color. I’ll post some pics of my travel herbarium, experiment and brushes later on.
Spring indeed this year, with temperatures around 22 C at first, in march! Now it has lessened to a mere 16 C, but nice. The Bergenia is one of the first plants that is in bloom in my garden. In Dutch it is called Schoenlappersplant…cobbler plant, as in ancient times the waxy leaves were used to shine one’s shoes. For the leaves an olive green with yellow and bordered by Indian red. The stem and such also with olive and Indian red, some dark red mixed in. Sepia, olive green, sap green and walnut brown for the base of the leaves. Magenta and dark red for the flowers. I’ll take a holiday break as I am traveling through Indonesia for a month shortly.
It is a crazy spring in this country. The day before yesterdag we had the warmest 21st of March in history and now, two days later it rains hailstones, but also rains water fortunately. I processed 20 wheelbarrows of manure (delivered by the Scouting who sells it for charity) and the rain of today is heaven sent…. Last week I painted some cherry blosom in the garden. (Obviously)dark red, permanent carmine, magenta, Indian red and English Venetian red for the leaves and blossom, sepia brown, madder brown, walnut and dark olive green for the branch.
Spring cleaning for the garden. The daffodils, pushkinia and crocus have been able to push to the surface. In the otherwise drab and bare garden they make the color. And it seems that snails are moving on; I find lots of deserted homes. In autumn I don’t do a lot in the garden except for clearing the paths and throwing all falles leaves in the garden to compost, so in the spring I have to get moving! Different oranges and yellows; chroom/translucent, indian yellow and cadmium yellow for the daffodil, as well as some olivegreen and madder brown. For the pushkinia olivegreen/green olive..dampened a bit by cadmium yellow and ultramarine violet/ultramarine finest. The home of the snail gets sepia brown and what’s left over from the flowers.