The Colour Purple ..

Despite the fact that it’s very nearly July and the sun should be shining and we should be all outside enjoying ourselves it isn’t, in fact it’s rained pretty much all day long. On a recent trip to Hobbycraft, I bought some beautiful, purple wool and today in front of the tennis at Wimbledon, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to knit a lovely warm blanket.

This is my first attempt at using circular needles – I’m not sure why I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to knit with them, they are really easy to use.

I’m knitting a double moss stitch :

cast on 79 stitches

row 1: k1 pl k1 repeat to end of row

row 2: p1 k1 p1 repeat to end of row

row 3 : repeat row 2

row 4 : repeat row 1

I’ve got a long way to go but here’s how it’s looking so far:

I think this is a lovely pattern for a blanket – when it is finished, I hope to use a stunning turquoise wool to edge it with blanket stitch

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Something Simple for a Monday …

I looked in my garden for inspiration this afternoon and found it with my favourite tree, the eucalyptus. I love the colour of the leaves and the little hint of red that is found on the stem of each leaf. It’s a tree that always looks beautiful, regardless of the season and whilst my garden is only small, I’m pleased there’s enough room for this tree.

In painting the eucalyptus I concentrated on a small collection of leaves and the delicate stems that emerge from the tougher, thicker branches:

Industrial Imagery …

We cycled down to Bristol Docks this afternoon. It was actually sunny and warm and the docks were buzzing with people walking, cycling, chatting at cafés. There were buskers playing music and boats bobbing on the water. It really was Bristol at its best.

I’ve wanted to paint one of the 4 remaining cranes at Bristol Docks for a while but I only photographed them today. I really wanted to show off the vivid range of colour that was shimmering in the sunlight today so I used a bit of artistic licence and this is what I painted:

There were originally 40 such cranes on the city dockside, now there are only 4. They had their heyday in the 1950s and were last used in the 1970s. In 2001 a group of volunteers raised funds to enable the 4 remaining cranes to be restored. For more information about the history of these cranes, click here.

Here are some of the photos that I took today:

Sunny Splatters …

I’ve missed painting this week, it’s been so busy that I’ve not had the time over the past few days. I was determined to paint something today though. The trouble was that I was almost trying too hard to think of something to paint, so much so that inspiration was a bit hard to come by. I therefore went for something abstract with splatters of paint:

I used violet as my main colour, I then added various amounts of alizarin crimson, viridian, burnt sienna and cadmium yellow. If you look closely enough, you may see some trees lurking in the misty colours.

On Display …

The more I paint, the more pictures I want to display. There are some real favourites that have been framed and hung around the house. They have been hung with precision, measurements have been taken to ensure certain paintings are hanging straight and in line. I did however have an expanse of wall where there was nothing on display at all. Pictures and certificates that my children had drawn and achieved had been hanging here, but the string holding them eventually snapped under the weight and my children decided that they were getting too old to have such things displayed.

I was therefore left with a bit of a dilemma. Did I want to simply hang a couple of paintings or did I want somewhere where I could easily change the paintings on display as and when I felt like it? The answer was the latter. I found a variety of borders that many frames are sold with and I used these to create what I hope is a very relaxed display of a range of my paintings:

Each painting is hung on a mini bulldog clip and they are attached to the borders with a small amount of masking tape, ensuring that I can easily change them around in the future. I’ve also made sure to leave plenty of gaps which I can fill with future paintings!

Making a Splash …

The sun is out, the birds are singing, there are definite signs of summer being somewhere out there. Deciding to make the most of it, I painted in the garden this afternoon. It was lovely!

As I’m not by the sea enjoying this surprisingly lovely weather, I painted some sea instead:

I used a combination of watercolour and chalk pastels. I waited for the paint to dry before I went over the waves with different shades of pastels. It’s the first time I’ve really mixed watercolour and chalk pastels and I quite like the end result.